Translated by William Wallace

This HTML file does not contain any of the Notes (“Zusätze”) of the “Freundesausgabe” (“Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe durch einen Verein von Freunden des Verewigten.”), Berlin 1832-1845, only the main corpus, the text of the 1830, the last edition done by Hegel himself



The knowledge of Mind is the highest and hardest, just because it is the most ‘concrete’ of sciences. The significance of that ‘absolute’ commandment, Know thyself - whether we look at it in itself or under the historical circumstances of its first utterance - is not to promote mere self-knowledge in respect of the particular capacities, character, propensities, and foibles of the single self. The knowledge it commands means that of man’s genuine reality - of what is essentially and ultimately true and real - of mind as the true and essential being. Equally little is it the purport of mental philosophy to teach what is called knowledge of men - the knowledge whose aim is to detect the peculiarities, passions, and foibles of other men, and lay bare what are called the recesses of the human heart. Information of this kind is, for one thing, meaningless, unless on the assumption that we know the universal - man as man, and, that always must be, as mind. And for another, being only engaged with casual, insignificant, and untrue aspects of mental life, it fails to reach the underlying essence of them all - the mind itself.


Pneumatology, or, as it was also called, Rational Psychology, has been already alluded to in the Introduction to the Logic as an abstract and generalizing metaphysic of the subject. Empirical (or inductive) psychology, on the other hand, deals with the ‘concrete’ mind: and, after the revival of the sciences, when observation and experience had been made the distinctive methods for the study of concrete reality, such psychology was worked on the same lines as other sciences. In this way it came about that the metaphysical theory was kept outside the inductive science, and so prevented from getting any concrete embodiment or detail: whilst at the same time the inductive science clung to the conventional common- sense metaphysics with its analysis into forces, various activities, etc., and rejected any attempt at a ‘speculative’ treatment.

The books of Aristotle on the Soul, along with his discussions on its special aspects and states, are for this reason still by far the most admirable, perhaps even the sole, work of philosophical value on this topic. The main aim of a philosophy of mind can only be to reintroduce unity of idea and principle into the theory of mind, and so reinterpret the lesson of those Aristotelian books.


Even our own sense of the mind’s living unity naturally protests against any attempt to break it up into different faculties, forces, or, what comes to the same thing, activities, conceived as independent of each other. But the craving for a comprehension of the unity is still further stimulated, as we soon come across distinctions between mental freedom and mental determinism, antitheses between free psychic agency and the corporeity that lies external to it, whilst we equally note the intimate interdependence of the one upon the other. In modern times especially the phenomena of animal magnetism have given, even in experience, a lively and visible confirmation of the underlying unity of soul, and of the power of its ‘ideality’. Before these facts, the rigid distinctions of practical common sense are struck with confusion; and the necessity of a ‘speculative’ examination with a view to the removal of difficulties is more directly forced upon the student.


The ‘concrete’ nature of mind involves for the observer the peculiar difficulty that the several grades and special types which develop its intelligible unity in detail are not left standing as so many separate existences confronting its more advanced aspects. It is otherwise in external nature. There, matter and movement, for example, have a manifestation all their own - it is the solar system; and similarly the differentiae of sense-perception have a sort of earlier existence in the properties of bodies, and still more independently in the four elements. The species and grades of mental evolution, on the contrary, lose their separate existence and become factors, states, and features in the higher grades of development. As a consequence of this, a lower and more abstract aspect of mind betrays the presence in it, even to experience, of a higher grade. Under the guise of sensation, for example, we may find the very highest mental life as its modification or its embodiment. And so sensation, which is but a mere form and vehicle, may to the superficial glance seem to be the proper seat and, as it were, the source of those moral and religious principles with which it is charged; and the moral and religious principles thus modified may seem to call for treatment as species of sensation. But at the same time, when lower grades of mental life are under examination, it becomes necessary, if we desire to point to actual cases of them in experience, to direct attention to more advanced grades for which they are mere forms. In this way subjects will be treated of by anticipation which properly belong to later stages of development (e.g. in dealing with natural awaking from sleep we speak by anticipation of consciousness, or in dealing with mental derangement we must speak of intellect).

What Mind (or Spirit) is


From our point of view mind has for its presupposition Nature, of which it is the truth, and for that reason its absolute prius. In this its truth Nature is vanished, and mind has resulted as the ‘Idea’ entered on possession of itself. Here the subject and object of the Idea are one - either is the intelligent unity, the notion. This identity is absolute negativity -for whereas in Nature the intelligent unity has its objectivity perfect but externalized, this self-externalization has been nullified and the unity in that way been made one and the same with itself. Thus at the same time it is this identity only so far as it is a return out of nature.


For this reason the essential, but formally essential, feature of mind is Liberty: i.e. it is the notion’s absolute negativity or self-identity. Considered as this formal aspect, it may withdraw itself from everything external and from its own externality, its very existence; it can thus submit to infinite pain, the negation of its individual immediacy: in other words, it can keep itself affirmative in this negativity and possess its own identity. All this is possible so long as it is considered in its abstract self-contained universality.


This universality is also its determinate sphere of being. Having a being of its own, the universal is self-particularizing, whilst it still remains self-identical. Hence the special mode of mental being is ‘manifestation’. The spirit is not some one mode or meaning which finds utterance or externality only in a form distinct from itself: it does not manifest or reveal something, but its very mode and meaning is this revelation. And thus in its mere possibility mind is at the same moment an infinite, ‘absolute’, actuality.


Revelation, taken to mean the revelation of the abstract Idea, is an unmediated transition to Nature which comes to be. As mind is free, its manifestation is to set forth Nature as its world; but because it is reflection, it, in thus setting forth its world, at the same time presupposes the world as a nature independently existing. In the intellectual sphere to reveal is thus to create a world as its being - a being in which the mind procures the affirmation and truth of its freedom.

The Absolute is Mind (Spirit) - this is the supreme definition of the Absolute. To find this definition and to grasp its meaning and burden was, we may say, the ultimate purpose of all education and all philosophy: it was the point to which turned the impulse of all religion and science: and it is this impulse that must explain the history of the world. The word ‘Mind’ (Spirit) - and some glimpse of its meaning - was found at an early period: and the spirituality of God is the lesson of Christianity. It remains for philosophy in its own element of intelligible unity to get hold of what was thus given as a mental image, and what implicitly is the ultimate reality; and that problem is not genuinely, and by rational methods, solved so long as liberty and intelligible unity is not the theme and the soul of philosophy.



The development of Mind (Spirit) is in three stages:

  1. In the form of self-relation: within it it has the ideal totality of the Idea - i.e. it has before it all that its notion contains: its being is to be self-contained and free. This is Mind Subjective.

  2. In the form of reality: realized, i.e. in a world produced and to be produced by it: in this world freedom presents itself under the shape of necessity. This is Mind Objective.

  3. In that unity of mind as objectivity and of mind as ideality and concept, which essentially and actually is and for ever produces itself, mind in its absolute truth. This is Mind Absolute.


The two first parts of the doctrine of Mind embrace the finite mind. Mind is the infinite Idea, and finitude here means the disproportion between the concept and the reality - but with the qualification that it is a shadow cast by the mind’s own light - a show or illusion which the mind implicitly imposes as a barrier to itself, in order, by its removal, actually to realize and become conscious of freedom as its very being, i.e. to be fully manifested. The several steps of this activity, on each of which, with their semblance of being, it is the function of the finite mind to linger, and through which it has to pass, are steps in its liberation. In the full truth of that liberation is given the identification of the three stages - finding a world presupposed before us, generating a world as our own creation, and gaining freedom from it and in it. To the infinite form of this truth the show purifies itself till it becomes a consciousness of it.

A rigid application of the category of finitude by the abstract logician is chiefly seen in dealing with Mind and reason: it is held not a mere matter of strict logic, but treated also as a moral and religious concern, to adhere to the point of view of finitude, and the wish to go further is reckoned a mark of audacity, if not of insanity, of thought. Whereas in fact such a modesty of thought, as treats the finite as something altogether fixed and absolute, is the worst of virtues; and to stick to a post which has no sound ground in itself is the most unsound sort of theory. The category of finitude was at a much earlier period elucidated and explained at its place in the Logic: an elucidation which, as in logic for the more specific though still simple thought-forms of finitude, so in the rest of philosophy for the concrete forms, has merely to show that the finite is not, i.e. is not the truth, but merely a transition and an emergence to something higher. This finitude of the spheres so far examined is the dialectic that makes a thing have its cessation by another and in another: but Spirit, the intelligent unity and the implicit Eternal, is itself just the consummation of that internal act by which nullity is nullified and vanity is made vain. And so, the modesty alluded to is a retention of this vanity - the finite - in opposition to the true: it is itself therefore vanity. In the course of the mind’s development we shall see this vanity appear as wickedness at that turning-point at which mind has reached its extreme immersion in its subjectivity and its most central contradiction.



Mind, on the ideal stage of its development, is mind as cognitive. Cognition, however, being taken here not as a merely logical category of the Idea (§ 223), but in the sense appropriate to the concrete mind.

Subjective mind is: (A) Immediate or implicit: a soul - the Spirit in Nature - the object treated by Anthropology. (B) Mediate or explicit: still as identical reflection into itself and into other things: mind in correlation or particularization: consciousness - the object treated by the Phenomenology of Mind. (C) Mind defining itself in itself, as an independent subject - the object treated by Psychology.

In the Soul is the awaking of Consciousness: Consciousness sets itself up as Reason, awaking at one bound to the sense of its rationality: and this Reason by its activity emancipates itself to objectivity and the consciousness of its intelligent unity.

For an intelligible unity or principle of comprehension each modification it presents is an advance of development: and so in mind every character under which it appears is a stage in a process of specification and development, a step forward towards its goal, in order to make itself into, and to realize in itself, what it implicitly is. Each step, again, is itself such a process, and its product is that what the mind was implicitly at the beginning (and so for the observer) it is for itself - for the special form, viz. which the mind has in that step. The ordinary method of psychology is to narrate what the mind or soul is, what happens to it, what it does. The soul is presupposed as a ready-made agent, which displays such features as its acts and utterances, from which we can learn what it is, what sort of faculties and powers it possesses - all without being aware that the act and utterance of what the soul is really invests it with that character in our conception and makes it reach a higher stage of being than it explicitly had before.

We must, however, distinguish and keep apart from the progress here to be studied what we call education and instruction. The sphere of education is the individuals only: and its aim is to bring the universal mind to exist in them. But in the philosophic theory of mind, mind is studied as self-instruction and self-education in very essence; and its acts and utterances are stages in the process which brings it forward to itself, links it in unity with itself, and so makes it actual mind.


(a) The Physical Soul
   (a) Physical Qualities
   (b) Physical Alterations
   (c) Sensibility
(b) The Feeling Soul
   (a) The Feeling Soul in its Immediacy
   (b) Self-feeling
   (c) Habit
(c) The Actual Soul




Spirit (Mind) came into being as the truth of Nature. But not merely is it, as such a result, to be held the true and real first of what went before: this becoming or transition bears in the sphere of the notion the special meaning of ‘free judgement’. Mind, thus come into being, means therefore that Nature in its own self realizes its untruth and sets itself aside: it means that Mind presupposes itself no longer as the universality which in corporal individuality is always self-externalized, but as a universality which in its concretion and totality is one and simple. At such a stage it is not yet mind, but soul.


The soul is no separate immaterial entity. Wherever there is Nature, the soul is its universal immaterialism, its simple ‘ideal’ life. Soul is the substance or ‘absolute’ basis of all the particularizing and individualizing of mind: it is in the soul that mind finds the material on which its character is wrought, and the soul remains the pervading, identical ideality of it all. But as it is still conceived thus abstractly, the soul is only the sleep of mind - the passive of Aristotle, which is potentially all things.

The question of the immateriality of the soul has no interest, except where, on the one hand, matter is regarded as something true, and mind conceived as a thing, on the other. But in modern times even the physicists have found matters grow thinner in their hands: they have come upon imponderable matters, like heat, light, etc., to which they might perhaps add space and time. These ‘imponderables’, which have lost the property (peculiar to matter) of gravity and, in a sense, even the capacity of offering resistance, have still, however, a sensible existence and outness of part to part; whereas the ‘vital’ matter, which may also be found enumerated among them, not merely lacks gravity, but even every other aspect of existence which might lead us to treat it as material.

The fact is that in the Idea of Life the self-externalism of nature is implicitly at an end: subjectivity is the very substance and conception of life - with this proviso, however, that its existence or objectivity is still at the same time forfeited to the away of self-externalism. It is otherwise with Mind. There, in the intelligible unity which exists as freedom, as absolute negativity, and not as the immediate or natural individual, the object or the reality of the intelligible unity is the unity itself; and so the self-externalism, which is the fundamental feature of matter, has been completely dissipated and transmuted into universality, or the subjective ideality of the conceptual unity. Mind is the existent truth of matter - the truth that matter itself has no truth.

A cognate question is that of the community of soul and body. This community (interdependence) was assumed as a fact, and the only problem was how to comprehend it. The usual answer, perhaps, was to call it an incomprehensible mystery; and, indeed, if we take them to be absolutely antithetical and absolutely independent, they are as impenetrable to each other as one piece of matter to another, each being supposed to be found only in the pores of the other, i.e. where the other is not - whence Epicurus, when attributing to the gods a residence in the pores, was consistent in not imposing on them any connection with the world. A somewhat different answer has been given by all philosophers since this relation came to be expressly discussed. Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, and Leibniz have all indicated God as this nexus. They meant that the finitude of soul and matter were only ideal and unreal distinctions; and, so holding, there philosophers took God, not, as so often is done, merely as another word for the incomprehensible, but rather as the sole true identity of finite mind and matter. But either this identity, as in the case of Spinoza, is too abstract, or, as in the case of Leibniz, though his Monad of monads brings things into being, it does so only by an act of judgement or choice. Hence, with Leibniz, the result is a distinction between soul and the corporeal (or material), and the identity is only like the copula of a judgement, and does not rise or develop into system, into the absolute syllogism.

§390 The Soul is at first - (a) In its immediate natural mode - the natural soul, which only is. (b) Secondly, it is a soul which feels, as individualized, enters into correlation with its immediate being, and, in the modes of that being, retains an abstract independence. (c) Thirdly, its immediate being - or corporeity - is moulded into it, and with that corporeity it exists as actual soul.



The soul universal, described, it may be, as an anima mundi, a world-soul, must not be fixed on that account as a single subject; it is rather the universal substance which has its actual truth only in individuals and single subjects. Thus, when it presents itself as a single soul, it is a single soul which is merely: its only modes are modes of natural life. These have, so to speak, behind its ideality a free existence: i.e. they are natural objects for consciousness, but objects to which the soul as such does not behave as to something external. These features rather are physical qualities of which it finds itself possessed.

(a) Physical Qualities


  1. While still a ‘substance’ (i.e. a physical soul) the mind takes part in the general planetary life, feels the difference of climates, the changes of the seasons, and the periods of the day, etc. This life of nature for the main shows itself only in occasional strain or disturbance of mental tone.

In recent times a good deal has been said of the cosmical, sidereal, and telluric life of man. In such a sympathy with nature the animals essentially live: their specific characters and their particular phases of growth depend, in many cases completely, and always more or less, upon it. In the case of man these points of dependence lose importance, just in proportion to his civilization, and the more his whole frame of soul is based upon a sub-structure of mental freedom. The history of the world is not bound up with revolutions in the solar system, any more than the destinies of individuals with the positions of the planets.

The difference of climate has a more solid and vigorous influence. But the response to the changes of the seasons and hours of the day is found only in faint changes of mood, which come expressly to the fore only in morbid states (including insanity) and at periods when the self-conscious life suffers depression.

In nations less intellectually emancipated, which therefore live more in harmony with nature, we find amid their superstitions and aberrations of imbecility a few real cases of such sympathy, and on that foundation what seems to be marvellous prophetic vision of coming conditions and of events arising therefrom. But as mental freedom gets a deeper hold, even these few and slight susceptibilities, based upon participation in the common life of nature, disappear. Animals and plants, on the contrary, remain for ever subject to such influences.


  1. According to the concrete differences of the terrestrial globe, the general planetary life of the nature-governed mind specializes itself and breaks up into the several nature-governed minds which, on the whole, give expression to the nature of the geographical continents and constitute the diversities of race.

The contrast between the earth’s poles, the land towards the north pole being more aggregated and preponderant over sea, whereas in the southern hemisphere it runs out in sharp points, widely distant from each other, introduces into the differences of continents a further modification which Treviranus (Biology, Part II) has exhibited in the case of the flora and fauna.


This diversity descends into specialities, that may be termed local minds - shown in the outward modes of life and occupation, bodily structure and disposition, but still more in the inner tendency and capacity of the intellectual and moral character of the several peoples.

Back to the very beginnings of national history we see the several nations each possessing a persistent type of its own.


  1. The soul is further de-universalized into the individualized subject. But this subjectivity is here only considered as a differentiation and singling out of the modes which nature gives; we find it as the special temperament, talent, character, physiognomy, or other disposition and idiosyncrasy, of families or single individuals.
(b) Physical Alterations


Taking the soul as an individual, we find its diversities, as alterations in it, the one permanent subject, and as stages in its development. As they are at once physical and mental diversities, a more concrete definition or description of them would require us to anticipate an acquaintance with the formed and matured mind.

  1. The first of these is the natural lapse of the ages in man’s life. He begins with Childhood - mind wrapped up in itself. His next step is the fully developed antithesis, the strain and struggle of a universality which is still subjective (as seen in ideals, fancies, hopes, ambitions) against his immediate individuality. And that individuality marks both the world which, as it exists, fails to meet his ideal requirements, and the position of the individual himself, who is still short of independence and not fully equipped for the part he has to play (Youth). Thirdly, we see man in his true relation to his environment, recognizing the objective necessity and reasonableness of the world as he finds it - a world no longer incomplete, but able in the work which it collectively achieves to afford the individual a place and a security for his performance. By his share in this collective work he first is really somebody, gaining an effective existence and an objective value (Manhood). Last of all comes the finishing touch to this unity with objectivity: a unity which, while on its realist side it passes into the inertia of deadening habit, on its idealist side gains freedom from the limited interests and entanglements of the outward present (Old Age).


  1. Next we find the individual subject to a real antithesis, leading it to seek and find itself in another individual. This - the sexual relation - on a physical basis, shows, on its one side, subjectivity remaining in an instinctive and emotional harmony of moral life and love, and not pushing these tendencies to an extreme universal phase, in purposes political, scientific, or artistic; and on the other, shows an active half, where the individual is the vehicle of a struggle of universal and objective interests with the given conditions (both of his own existence and of that of the external world), carrying out these universal principles into a unity with the world which is his own work. The sexual tie acquires its moral and spiritual significance and function in the family.


  1. When the individuality, or self-centralized being, distinguishes itself from its mere being, this immediate judgement is the waking of the soul, which confronts its self-absorbed natural life, in the first instance, as one natural quality and state confronts another state, viz. sleep. - The waking is not merely for the observer, or externally distinct from the sleep: it is itself the judgement (primary partition) of the individual soul - which is self-existing only as it relates its self-existence to its mere existence, distinguishing itself from its still undifferentiated universality. The waking state includes generally all self-conscious and rational activity in which the mind realizes its own distinct self. - Sleep is an invigoration of this activity - not as a merely negative rest from it, but as a return back from the world of specialization, from dispersion into phases where it has grown hard and stiff - a return into the general nature of subjectivity, which is the substance of those specialized energies and their absolute master.

The distinction between sleep and waking is one of those posers, as they may be called, which are often addressed to philosophy: - Napoleon, for example, on a visit to the University of Pavia, put this question to the class of ideology. The characterization given in the section is abstract; it primarily treats waking merely as a natural fact, containing the mental element implicate but not yet as invested with a special being of its own. If we are to speak more concretely of this distinction (in fundamentals it remains the same), we must take the self-existence of the individual soul in its higher aspects as the Ego of consciousness and as intelligent mind. The difficulty raised anent the distinction of the two states properly arises, only when we also take into account the dreams in sleep and describe these dreams, as well as the mental representations in the sober waking consciousness under one and the same title of mental representations. Thus superficially classified as states of mental representation the two coincide, because we have lost sight of the difference; and in the case of any assignable distinction of waking consciousness, we can always return to the trivial remark that all this is nothing more than mental idea. But the concrete theory of the wakin soul in its realized being views it as consciousness and intellect: and the world of intelligent consciousness is something quite different from a picture of mere ideas and images. The latter are in the main only externally conjoined, in an unintelligent way, by the laws of the so-called Association of Ideas; though here and there of course logical principles may also be operative. But in the waking state man behaves essentially as a concrete ego, an intelligence: and because of this intelligence his sense-perception stands before him as a concrete totality of features in which each member, each point, takes up its place as at the same time determined through and with all the rest. Thus the facts embodied in his sensation are authenticated, not by his mere subjective representation and distinction of the facts as something external from the person, but by virtue of the concrete interconnection in which each part stands with all parts of this complex. The waking state is the concrete consciousness of this mutual corroboration of each single factor of its content by all the others in the picture as perceived. The consciousness of this interdependence need not be explicit and distinct. Still this general setting to all sensations is implicitly present in the concrete feeling of self. - In order to see the difference between dreaming and waking we need only keep in view the Kantian distinction between subjectivity and objectivity of mental representation (the latter depending upon determination through categories): remembering, as already noted, that what is actually present in mind need not be therefore explicitly realized in consciousness, just as little as the exaltation of the intellectual sense to God need stand before consciousness in the shape of proofs of God’s existence, although, as before explained, these proofs only serve to express the net worth and content of that feeling.

(c) Sensibility


Sleep and waking are, primarily, it is true, not mere alterations, but alternating conditions (a progression in infinitum). This is their formal and negative relationship: but in it the affirmative relationship is also involved. In the self-certified existence of waking soul its mere existence is implicit as an ‘ideal’ factor: the features which make up its sleeping nature, where they are implicitly as in their substance, are found by the waking soul, in its own self, and, be it noted, for itself. The fact that these particulars, though as a mode of mind they are distinguished from the self- identity of our self-centred being, are yet simply contained in its simplicity, is what we call sensibility.


Sensibility (feeling) is the form of the dull stirring, the inarticulate breathing, of the spirit through its unconscious and unintelligent individuality, where every definite feature is still ‘immediate’ - neither specially developed in its content nor set in distinction as objective to subject, but treated as belonging to its most special, its natural peculiarity. The content of sensation is thus limited and transient, belonging as it does to natural, immediate being - to what is therefore qualitative and finite.

Everything is in sensation (feeling): if you will, everything that emerges in conscious intelligence and in reason has its source and origin in sensation; for source and origin just means the first immediate manner in which a thing appears. Let it not be enough to have principles and religion only in the head: they must also be in the heart, in the feeling. What we merely have in the head is in consciousness, in a general way: the facts of it are objective - set over against consciousness, so that as it is put in me (my abstract ego) it can also be kept away and apart from me (from my concrete subjectivity). But if put in the feeling, the fact is a mode of my individuality, however crude that individuality be in such a form: it is thus treated as my very own. My own is something inseparate from the actual concrete self: and this immediate unity of the soul with its underlying self in all its definite content is just this inseparability; which, however, yet falls short of the ego of developed consciousness, and still more of the freedom of rational mind-life. It is with a quite different intensity and permanency that the will, the conscience, and the character, are our very own, than can ever be true of feeling and of the group of feelings (the heart): and this we need no philosophy to tell us. No doubt it is correct to say that above everything the heart must be good. But feeling and heart is not the form by which anything is legitimated as religious, moral, true, just, etc., and an appeal to heart and feeling either means nothing or means something bad. This should hardly need enforcing. Can any experience be more trite than that feelings and hearts are also bad, evil, godless, mean, etc.? That the heart is the source only of such feelings is stated in the words: ‘From the heart proceed evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, blasphemy, etc.’ In such times when ‘scientific’ theology and philosophy make the heart and feeling the criterion of what is good, moral, and religious, it is necessary to remind them of these trite experiences; just as it is nowadays necessary to repeat that thinking is the characteristic property by which man is distinguished from the beasts, and that he has feeling in common with them.


What the sentient soul finds within it is, on one hand, the naturally immediate, as ‘ideally’ in it and made its own. On the other hand and conversely, what originally belongs to the central individuality (which as further deepened and enlarged is the conscious ego and free mind) gets the features of the natural corporeity, and is so felt. In this way we have two spheres of feeling. One, where what at first is a corporeal affection (e.g. of the eye or of any bodily part whatever) is made feeling (sensation) by being driven inward, memorized in the soul’s self-centred part. Another, where affections originating in the mind and belonging to it, are in order to be felt, and to be as if found, invested with corporeity. Thus the mode or affection gets a place in the subject: it is felt in the soul. The detailed specification of the former branch of sensibility is seen in the system of the senses. But the other or inwardly originated modes of feeling no less necessarily systematize themselves; and their corporization, as put in the living and concretely developed natural being, works itself out, following the special character of the mental mode, in a special system of bodily organs.

Sensibility in general is the healthy fellowship of the individual mind in the life of its bodily part. The senses form the simple system of corporeity specified. (a) The ‘ideal’ side of physical things breaks up into two - because in it, as immediate and not yet subjective ideality, distinction appears as mere variety - the senses of definite light, (§ 317) - and of sound, (§ 300). The ‘real’ aspect similarly is with its difference double: (b) the senses of smell and taste, (§§ 321, 322); (c) the sense of solid reality, of heavy matter, of heat (§ 303) and shape (§ 310). Around the centre of the sentient individuality these specifications arrange themselves more simply than when they are developed in the natural corporeity.

The system by which the internal sensation comes to give itself specific bodily forms would deserve to be treated in detail in a peculiar science - a psychical physiology. Somewhat pointing to such a system is implied in the feeling of the appropriateness or inappropriateness of an immediate sensation to the persistent tone of internal sensibility (the pleasant and unpleasant): as also in the distinct parallelism which underlies the symbolical employment of sensations, e.g. of colours, tones, smells. But the most interesting side of a psychical physiology would lie in studying not the mere sympathy, but more definitely the bodily form adopted by certain mental modifications, especially the passions or emotions. We should have, for example, to explain the line of connection by which anger and courage are felt in the breast, the blood, the ‘irritable’ system, just as thinking and mental occupation are felt in the head, the centre of the ‘sensible’ system. We should want a more satisfactory explanation than hitherto of the most familar connections by which tears, and voice in general, with its varieties of language, laughter, sighs, with many other specializations lying in the line of pathognomy and physiognomy, are formed from their mental source. In physiology the viscera and the organs are treated merely as parts subservient to the animal organism; but they form at the same time a physical system for the expression of mental states, and in this way they get quite another interpretation.


Sensations, just because they are immediate and are found existing, are single and transient aspects of psychic life - alterations in the substantiality of the soul, set in its self-centred life, with which that substance is one. But this self-centred being is not merely a formal factor of sensation: the soul is virtually a reflected totality of sensations - it feels in itself the total substantiality which it virtually is - it is a soul which feels.

In the usage of ordinary language, sensation and feeling are not clearly distinguished: still we do not speak of the sensation - but of the feeling (sense) of right, of self; sentimentality (sensibility) is connected with sensation: we may therefore say sensation emphasizes rather the side of passivity-the fact that we find ourselves feeling, i.e. the immediacy of mode in feeling - whereas feeling at the same time rather notes the fact that it is we ourselves who feel.



The feeling or sentient individual is the simple ‘ideality’ or subjective side of sensation. What it has to do, therefore, is to raise its substantiality, its merely virtual filling-up, to the character of subjectivity, to take possession of it, to realize its mastery over its own. As sentient, the soul is no longer a mere natural, but an inward, individuality: the individuality which in the merely substantial totality was only formal to it has to be liberated and made independent.

Nowhere so much as in the case of the soul (and still more of the mind) if we are to understand it, must that feature of ‘ideality’ be kept in view, which represents it as the negation of the real, but a negation, where the real is put past, virtually retained, although it does not exist. The feature is one with which we are familiar in regard to our mental ideas or to memory. Every individual is an infinite treasury of sensations, ideas, acquired lore, thoughts, etc.; and yet the ego is one and uncompounded, a deep featureless characterless mine, in which all this is stored up, without existing. It is only when I call to mind an idea, that I bring it out of that interior to existence before consciousness. Sometimes, in sickness, ideas and information, supposed to have been forgotten years ago, because for so long they had not been brought into consciousness, once more come to light. They were not in our possession, nor by such reproduction as occurs in sickness do they for the future come into our possession; and yet they were in us and continue to be in us still. Thus a person can never know how much of things he once learned he really has in him, should he have once forgotten them: they belong not to his actuality or subjectivity as such, but only to his implicit self. And under all the superstructure of specialized and instrumental consciousness that may subsequently be added to it, the individuality always remains this single-souled inner life. At the present stage this singleness is, primarily, to be defined as one of feeling - as embracing the corporeal in itself: thus denying the view that this body is something material, with parts outside parts and outside the soul. Just as the number and variety of mental representations is no argument for an extended and real multeity in the ego; so the ‘real’ outness of parts in the body has no truth for the sentient soul. As sentient, the soul is characterized as immediate, and so as natural and corporeal: but the outness of parts and sensible multiplicity of this corporeal counts for the soul (as it counts for the intelligible unity) not as anything real, and therefore not as a barrier: the soul is this intelligible unity in existence - the existent speculative principle. Thus in the body it is one simple, omnipresent unity. As to the representative faculty the body is but one representation, and the infinite variety of its material structure and organization is reduced to the simplicity of one definite conception: so in the sentient soul, the corporeity, and all that outness of parts to parts which belongs to it, is reduced to ideality (the truth of the natural multiplicity). The soul is virtually the totality of nature: as an individual soul it is a monad: it is itself the explicitly put totality of its particular world - that world being included in it and filling it up; and to that world it stands but as to itself.


As individual, the soul is exclusive and always exclusive: any difference there is, it brings within itself. What is differentiated from it is as yet no external object (as in consciousness), but only the aspects of its own sentient totality, etc. In this partition (judgement) of itself it is always subject: its object is its substance, which is at the same time its predicate. This substance is still the content of its natural life, but turned into the content of the individual sensation-laden soul; yet as the soul is in that content still particular, the content is its particular world, so far as that is, in an implicit mode, included in the ideality of the subject.

By itself, this stage of mind is the stage of its darkness: its features are not developed to conscious and intelligent content: so far it is formal and only formal. It acquires a peculiar interest in cases where it is as a form and appears as a special state of mind (§ 380), to which the soul, which has already advanced to consciousness and intelligence, may again sink down. But when a truer phase of mind thus exists in a more subordinate and abstract one, it implies a want of adaptation, which is disease. In the present stage we must treat, first, of the abstract psychical modifications by themselves, secondly, as morbid states of mind: the latter being only explicable by means of the former.

(a) The feeling soul in its immediacy


(aa) Though the sensitive individuality is undoubtedly a monadic individual, it is, because immediate, not yet as its self, not a true subject reflected into itself, and is therefore passive. Hence the individuality of its true self is a different subject from it - a subject which may even exist as another individual. By the self-hood of the latter it - a substance, which is only a non-independent predicate - is then set in vibration and controlled without the least resistance on its part. This other subject by which it is so controlled may be called its genius.

In the ordinary course of nature this is the condition of the child in its mother’s womb: - a condition neither merely bodily nor merely mental, but psychical - a correlation of soul to soul. Here are two individuals, yet in undivided psychic unity: the one as yet no self, as yet nothing impenetrable, incapable of resistance: the other is its actuating subject, the single self of the two. The mother is the genius of the child; for by genius we commonly mean the total mental self-hood, as it has existence of its own, and constitutes the subjective substantiality of some one else who is only externally treated as an individual and has only a nominal independence. The underlying essence of the genius is the sum total of existence, of life, and of character, not as a mere possibility, or capacity, or virtuality, but as efficiency and realized activity, as concrete subjectivity.

If we look only to the spatial and material aspects of the child’s existence as an embryo in its special integuments, and as connected with the mother by means of umbilical cord, placenta, etc., all that is presented to the senses and reflection are certain anatomical and physiological facts - externalities and instrumentalities in the sensible and material which are insignificant as regards the main point, the psychical relationship. What ought to be noted as regards this psychical tie are not merely the striking effects communicated to and stamped upon the child by violent emotions, injuries, etc., of the mother, but the whole psychical judgement (partition) of the underlying nature, by which the female (like the monocotyledons among vegetables) can suffer disruption in twain, so that the child has not merely got communicated to it, but has originally received morbid dispositions as well as other predispositions of shape, temper, character, talent, idiosyncrasies, etc.

Sporadic examples and traces of this magic tie appear elsewhere in the range of self-possessed conscious life, say between friends, especially female friends with delicate nerves (a tie which may go so far as to show ‘magnetic’ phenomena), between husband and wife and between members of the same family.

The total sensitivity has its self here in a separate subjectivity, which, in the case cited of this sentient life in the ordinary course of nature, is visibly present as another and a different individual. But this sensitive totality is meant to elevate its self-hood out of itself to subjectivity in one and the same individual: which is then its indwelling consciousness, self-possessed, intelligent, and reasonable. For such a consciousness the merely sentient life serves as an underlying and only implicitly existent material; and the self-possessed subjectivity is the rational, self-conscious, controlling genius thereof. But this sensitive nucleus includes not merely the purely unconscious, congenital disposition and temperament, but within its enveloping simplicity it acquires and retains also (in habit, as to which see later) all further ties and essential relationships, fortunes, principles-everything in short belonging to the character, and in whose elaboration self-conscious activity has most effectively participated. The sensitivity is thus a soul in which the whole mental life is condensed. The total individual under this concentrated aspect is distinct from the existing and actual play of his consciousness, his secular ideas, developed interests, inclinations, etc. As contrasted with this looser aggregate of means and methods the more intensive form of individuality is termed the genius, whose decision is ultimate whatever may be the show of reasons, intentions, means, of which the more public consciousness is so liberal. This concentrated individuality also reveals itself under the aspect of what is called the heart and soul of feeling. A man is said to be heartless and unfeeling when he looks at things with self-possession and acts according to his permanent purposes, be they great substantial aims or petty and unjust interests: a good-hearted man, on the other hand, means rather one who is at the mercy of his individual sentiment, even when it is of narrow range and is wholly made up of particularities. Of such good nature or goodness of heart it may be said that it is less the genius itself than the indulgere genio.


(bb) The sensitive life, when it becomes a form or state of the self-conscious, educated, self-possessed human being is a disease. The individual in such a morbid state stands in direct contact with the concrete contents of his own self, whilst he keeps his self-possessed consciousness of self and of the causal order of things apart as a distinct state of mind. This morbid condition is seen in magnetic somnambulism and cognate states.

In this summary encyclopaedic account it is impossible to supply a demonstration of what the paragraph states as the nature of the remarkable condition produced chiefly by animal magnetism - to show, in other words, that it is in harmony with the facts. To that end the phenomena, so complex in their nature and so very different one from another, would have first of all to be brought under their general points of view. The facts, it might seem, first of all call for verification. But such a verification would, it must be added, be superfluous for those on whose account it was called for: for they facilitate the inquiry for themselves by declaring the narratives - infinitely numerous though they be and accredited by the education and character of the witnesses - to be mere deception and imposture. The a priori conceptions of these inquirers are so rooted that no testimony can avail against them, and they have even denied what they have seen with their own eyes. In order to believe in this department even what one’s own eyes have seen and still more to understand it, the first requisite is not to be in bondage to the hard and fast categories of the practical intellect. The chief points on which the discussion turns may here be given:

  1. To the concrete existence of the individual belongs the aggregate of.his fundamental interests, both the essential and the particular empirical ties which connect him with other men and the world at large. This totality forms his actuality, in the sense that it lies in fact immanent in him; it has already been called his genius. This genius is not the free mind which wills and thinks: the form of sensitivity, in which the individual here appears innnersed, is, on the contrary, a surrender of his self-possessed intelligent existence. The first conclusion to which these considerations lead, with reference to the contents of consciousness in the somnambulist stage, is that it is only the range of his individually moulded world (of his private interests and narrow relationships) which appear there. Scientific theories and philosophic conceptions or general truths require a different soil - require an intelligence which has risen out of the inarticulate mass of mere sensitivity to free consciousness. It is foolish therefore to expect revelations about the higher ideas from the somnambulist state.

  2. Where a human being’s senses and intellect are sound, he is fully and intelligently alive to that reality of his which gives concrete filling to his individuality: but he is awake to it in the form of interconnection between himself and the features of that reality conceived as an external and a separate world, and he is aware that this world is in itself also a complex of interconnections of a practically intelligible kind. In his subjective ideas and plans he has also before him this causally connected scheme of things he calls his world and the series of means which bring his ideas and his purposes into adjustment with the objective existences, which are also means and ends to each other. At the same time, this world which is outside him has its threads in him to such a degree that it is these threads which make him what he really is: he too would become extinct if these externalities were to disappear, unless by the aid of religion, subjective reason, and character, he is in a remarkable degree self-supporting and independent of them. But, then, in the latter case he is less susceptible of the psychical state here spoken of. - As an illustration of that identity with the surroundings may be noted the effect produced by the death of beloved relatives, friends, etc. on those left behind, so that the one dies or pines away with the loss of the other. (Thus Cato, after the downfall of the Roman republic, could live no longer: his inner reality was neither wider nor higher than it.) Compare home-sickness, and the like.

  3. But when all that occupies the waking consciousness, the world outside it and its relationship to that world, is under a veil, and the soul is thus sunk in sleep (in magnetic sleep, in catalepsy, and other diseases, for example, those connected with female development, or at the approach of death, etc.), then that immanent actuality of the individual remains the same substantial total as before, but now as a purely sensitive life with an inward vision and an inward consciousness. And because it is the adult, formed, and developed consciousness which is degraded into this state of sensitivity, it retains along with its content a certain nominal self-hood, a formal vision and awareness, which, however, does not go so far as the conscious judgement or discernment by which its contents, when it is healthy and awake, exist for it as an outward objectivity. The individual is thus a monad which is inwardly aware of its actuality - a genius which beholds itself. The characteristic point in such knowledge is that the very same facts (which for the healthy consciousness are an objective practical reality, and to know which, in its sober moods, it needs the intelligent chain of means and conditions in all their real expansion) are now immediately known and perceived in this immanence. This perception is a sort of clairvoyance; for it is a consciousness living in the undivided substantiality of the genius, and finding itself in the very heart of the interconnection, and so can dispense with the series of conditions, external one to another, which lead up to the result - conditions which cool reflection has in succession to traverse and in so doing feels the limits of its own external individuality. But such clairvoyance - just because its dim and turbid vision does not present the facts in a rational interconnection - is for that very reason at the mercy of every private contingency of feeling and fancy, etc. - not to mention that foreign suggestions (see later) intrude into its vision. It is thus impossible to make out whether what the clairvoyants really see preponderates over what they deceive themselves in. - But it is absurd to treat this visionary state as a sublime mental phase and as a truer state, capable of conveying general truths.(5)

  4. An essential feature of this sensitivity, with its absence of intelligent and volitional personality, is this, that it is a state of passivity, like that of the child in the womb. The patient in this condition is accordingly made, and continues to be, subject to the power of another person, the magnetizer; so that when the two are thus in psychical rapport, the selfless individual, not really a ‘person’, has for his subjective consciousness the consciousness of the other. This latter self-possessed individual is thus the effective subjective soul of the former, and the genius which may even supply him with a train of ideas. That the somnambulist perceives in himself tastes and smells which are present in the person with whom he stands en rapport, and that he is aware of the other inner ideas and present perceptions of the latter as if they were his own, shows the substantial identity which the soul (which even in its concreteness is also truly immaterial) is capable of holding with another. When the substance of both is thus made one, there is only one subjectivity of consciousness: the patient has a sort of individuality, but it is empty, not on the spot, not actual: and this nominal self accordingly derives its whole stock of ideas from the sensations and ideas of the other, in whom it sees, smells, tastes, reads, and hears. It is further to be noted on this point that the somnambulist is thus brought into rapport with two genii and a twofold set of ideas, his own and that of the magnetizer. But it is impossible to say precisely which sensations and which visions he, in this nominal perception, receives, beholds, and brings to knowledge from his own inward self, and which from the suggestions of the person with whom he stands in relation. This uncertainty may be the source of many deceptions, and accounts among other things for the diversity that inevitably shows itself among sonmambulists from different countries and under rapport with persons of different education, as regards their views on morbid states and the methods of cure, or medicines for them, as well as on scientific and intellectual topics.

  5. As in this sensitive substantiality there is no contrast to external objectivity, so within itself the subject is so entirely one that all varieties of sensation have disappeared, and hence, when the activity of the sense-organs is asleep, the ‘common sense’, or ‘general feeling’ specifies itself to several functions; one sees and hears with the fingers, and especially with the pit of the stomach, etc.

To comprehend a thing means in the language of practical intelligence to be able to trace the series of means intervening between a phenomenon and some other existence on which it depends - to discover what is called the ordinary course of nature, in compliance with the laws and relations of the intellect, for example, causality, reasons, etc. The purely sensitive life, on the contrary, even when it retains that mere nominal consciousness, as in the morbid state alluded to, is just this form of immediacy, without any distinctions between subjective and objective, between intelligent personality and objective world, and without the aforementioned finite ties between them. Hence to understand this intimate conjunction, which, though all-embracing, is without any definite points of attachment, is impossible, so long as we assume independent personalities, independent one of another and of the objective world which is their content - so long as we assume the absolute spatial and material externality of one part of being to another.

(b) Self-feeling (sense of self)(6)


(aa) The sensitive totality is, in its capacity as individual, essentially the tendency to distinguish itself in itself, and to wake up to the judgement in itself, in virtue of which it has particular feelings and stands as a subject in respect of these aspects of itself. The subject as such gives these feelings a place as its own in itself. In these private and personal sensations it is immersed, and at the same time, because of the ‘ideality’ of the particulars, it combines itself in them with itself as a subjective unit. In this way it is self- feeling, and is so at the same time only in the particular feeling.


(bb) In consequence of the immediacy, which still marks the self-feeling, i.e. in consequence of the element of corporeality which is still undetached from the mental life, and as the feeling too is itself particular and bound up with a special corporeal form, it follows that although the subject has been brought to acquire intelligent consciousness, it is still susceptible of disease, so far as to remain fast in a special phase of its self-feeling, unable to refine it to ‘ideality’ and get the better of it. The fully furnished self of intelligent consciousness is a conscious subject, which is consistent in itself according to an order and behaviour which follows from its individual position and its connection with the external world, which is no less a world of law. But when it is engrossed with a single phase of feeling, it fails to assign that phase its proper place and due subordination in the individual system of the world which a conscious subject is. In this way the subject finds itself in contradiction between the totality systematized in its consciousness, and the single phase or fixed idea which is not reduced to its proper place and rank. This is Insanity or mental Derangement.

In considering insanity we must, as in other cases, anticipate the full-grown and intelligent conscious subject, which is at the same time the natural self of self-feeling. In such a phase the self can be liable to the contradiction between its own free subjectivity and a particularity which, instead of being ‘idealized’ in the former, remains as a fixed element in self-feeling. Mind as such is free, and therefore not susceptible of this malady. But in older metaphysics mind was treated as a soul, as a thing; and it is only as a thing, i.e. as something natural and existent, that it is liable to insanity - the settled fixture of some finite element in it. Insanity is therefore a psychical disease, i.e. a disease of body and mind alike: the commencement may appear to start from the one more than the other, and so also may the cure.

The self-possessed and healthy subject has an active and present consciousness of the ordered whole of his individual world, into the system of which he subsumes each special content of sensation, idea, desire, inclination, etc., as it arises, so as to insert them in their proper place, He is the dominant genius over these particularities. Between this and insanity the difference is like that between waking and dreaming: only that in insanity the dream falls within the waking limits, and so makes part of the actual self- feeling. Error and that sort of thing is a proposition consistently admitted to a place in the objective interconnection of things. In the concrete, however, it is often difficult to say where it begins to become derangement. A violent, but groundless and senseless outburst of hatred, etc., may, in contrast to a presupposed higher self-possession and stability of character, make its victim seem to be beside himself with frenzy. But the main point in derangement is the contradiction which a feeling with a fixed corporeal embodiment sets up against the whole mass of adjustments forming the concrete consciousness. The mind which is in a condition of mere being, and where such being is not rendered fluid in its consciousness, is diseased. The contents which are set free in this reversion to mere nature are the self-seeking affections of the heart, such as vanity, pride, and the rest of the passions - fancies and hopes - merely personal love and hatred. When the influence of self-possession and of general principles, moral and theoretical, is relaxed, and ceases to keep the natural temper under lock and key, the, earthly elements are set free - that evil which is always latent in the heart, because the heart as immediate is natural and selfish. It is the evil genius of man which gains the upper hand in insanity, but in distinction from and contrast to the better and more intelligent part, which is there also. Hence this state is mental derangement and distress. The right psychical treatment therefore keeps in view the truth that insanity is not an abstract loss of reason (neither in the point of intelligence nor of will and its responsibility), but only derangement, only a contradiction in a still subsisting reason; - just as physical disease is not an abstract, i.e. mere and total, loss of health (if it were that, it would be death), but a contradiction in it. This humane treatment, no less benevolent than reasonable (the services of Pinel towards which deserve the highest acknowledgement), presupposes the patient’s rationality, and in that assumption has the sound basis for dealing with him on this side - just as in the case of bodily disease the physician bases his treatment on the vitality which as such still contains health.

(c) Habit


Self-feeling, immersed in the detail of the feelings (in simple sensations, and also desires, instincts, passions, and their gratification), is undistinguished from them. But in the self there is latent a simple self-relation of ideality, a nominal universality (which is the truth of these details): and as so universal, the self is to be stamped upon, and made appear in, this life of feeling, yet so as to distinguish itself from the particular details, and be a realized universality. But this universality is not the full and sterling truth of the specific feelings and desires; what they specifically contain is as yet left out of account. And so too the particularity is, as now regarded, equally formal; it counts only as the particular being or immediacy of the soul in opposition to its equally formal and abstract realization. This particular being of the soul is the factor of its corporeity; here we have it breaking with this corporeity, distinguishing it from itself - itself a simple being - and becoming the ‘ideal’, subjective substantiality of it - just as in its latent notion (§ 389) it was the substance, and the mere substance, of it.

But this abstract realization of the soul in its corporeal vehicle is not yet the self - not the existence of the universal which is for the universal. It is the corporeity reduced to its mere ideality; and so far only does corporeity belong to the soul as such. That is to say, just as space and time as the abstract one-outside-another, as, therefore, empty space and empty time, are only subjective forms, a pure act of intuition; so is that pure being (which, through the supersession in it of the particularity of the corporeity, or of the immediate corporeity as such, has realized itself) mere intuition and no more, lacking consciousness, but the basis of consciousness. And consciousness it becomes, when the corporcity, of which it is the subjective substance, and which still continues to exist, and that as a barrier for it, has been absorbed by it, and it has been invested with the character of self-centred subject.


The soul’s making itself an abstract universal being, and reducing the particulars of feelings (and of consciousness) to a mere feature of its being is Habit. In this manner the soul has the contents in possession, and contains them in such manner that in these features it is not as sentient, nor does it stand in relationship with them as distinguishing itself from them, nor is absorbed in them, but has them and moves in them, without feeling or consciousness of the fact. The soul is freed from them, so far as it is not interested in or occupied with them: and whilst existing in these forms as its possession, it is at the same time open to be otherwise occupied and engaged - say with feeling and with mental consciousness in general.

This process of building up the particular and corporeal expressions of feeling into the being of the soul appears as a repetition of them, and the generation of habit as practice. For, this being of the soul, if in respect of the natural particular phase it be called an abstract universality to which the former is transmuted, is a reflexive universality (§ 175); i.e. the one and the same, that recurs in a series of units of sensation, is reduced to unity, and this abstract unity expressly stated.

Habit like memory, is a difficult point in mental organization: habit is the mechanism of self-feeling, as memory is the mechanism of intelligence. The natural qualities and alterations of age, sleep, and waking are ‘immediately’ natural: habit, on the contrary, is the mode of feeling (as well as intelligence, will, etc., so far as they belong to self-feeling) made into a natural and mechanical existence. Habit is rightly called a second nature; nature, because it is an immediate being of the soul; a second nature, because it is an immediacy created by the soul, impressing and moulding the corporeality which enters into the modes of feeling as such and into the representations and volitions so far as they have taken corporeal form (§ 401).

In habit the human being’s mode of existence is ‘natural’, and for that reason not free; but still free, so far as the merely natural phase of feeling is by habit reduced to a mere being of his, and he is no longer involuntarily attracted or repelled by it, and so no longer interested, occupied, or dependent in regard to it. The want of freedom in habit is partly merely formal, as habit merely attaches to the being of the soul; partly only relative, so far as it strictly speaking arises only in the case of bad habits, or so far as a habit is opposed by another purpose: whereas the habit of right and goodness is an embodiment of liberty. The main point about Habit is that by its means man gets emancipated from the feelings, even in being affected by them. The different forms of this may be described as follows: (a) The immediate feeling is negated and treated as indifferent. One who gets inured against external sensations (frost, heat, weariness of the limbs, etc., sweet tastes, etc.), and who hardens the heart against misfortune, acquires a strength which consists in this, that although the frost, etc. - or the misfortune - is felt, the affection is deposed to a mere externality and immediacy; the universal psychical life keeps its own abstract independence in it, and the self-feeling as such, consciousness, reflection, and any other purposes and activity, are no longer bothered with it. (b) There is indifference towards the satisfaction: the desires and impulses are by the habit of their satisfaction deadened. This is the rational liberation from them; whereas monastic renunciation and forcible interference do not free from them, nor are they in conception rational. Of course in all this it is assumed that the impulses are kept as the finite modes they naturally are, and that they, like their satisfaction, are subordinated as partial factors to the reasonable will. (c) In habit regarded as aptitude, or skill, not merely has the abstract psychical life to be kept intact per se, but it has to be imposed as a subjective aim, to be made a power in the bodily part, which is rendered subject and thoroughly pervious to it. Conceived as having the inward purpose of the subjective soul thus imposed upon it, the body is treated as an immediate externality and a barrier. Thus comes out the more decided rupture between the soul as simple self- concentration, and its earlier naturalness and immediacy; it has lost its original and immediate identity with the bodily nature, and as external has first to be reduced to that position. Specific feelings can only get bodily shape in a perfectly specific way (§ 410); and the immediate portion of body is a particular possibility for a specific aim (a particular aspect of its differentiated structure, a particular organ of its organic system). To mould such an aim in the organic body is to bring out and express the ‘ideality’ which is implicit in matter always, and especially so in the specific bodily part, and thus to enable the soul, under its volitional and conceptual characters, to exist as substance in its corporeity. In this way an aptitude shows the corporeity rendered completely pervious, made into an instrument, so that when the conception (e.g. a series of musical notes) is in me, then without resistance and with ease the body gives them correct utterance.

The form of habit applies to all kinds and grades of mental action. The most external of them, i.e. the spatial direction of an individual, viz. his upright posture, has been by will made a habit - a position taken without adjustment and without consciousness - which continues to be an affair of his persistent will; for the man stands only because and in so far as he wills to stand, and only so long as he wills it without consciousness. Similarly our eyesight is the concrete habit which, without an express adjustment, combines in a single act the several modifications of sensation, consciousness, intuition, intelligence, etc., which make it up. Thinking, too, however free and active in its own pure element it becomes, no less requires habit and familiarity (this impromptuity or form of immediacy), by which it is the property of my single self where I can freely and in all directions range. It is through this habit that I come to realize my existence as a thinking being. Even here, in this spontaneity of self-centred thought, there is a partnership of soul and body (hence, want of habit and too-long-continued thinking cause headache); habit diminishes this feeling, by making the natural function an immediacy of the soul. Habit on an ampler scale, and carried out in the strictly intellectual range, is recollection and memory, whereof we shall speak later.

Habit is often spoken of disparagingly and called lifeless, casual, and particular. And it is true that the form of habit, like any other, is open to anything we chance to put into it; and it is habit of living which brings on death, or, if quite abstract, is death itself: and yet habit is indispensable for the existence of all intellectual life in the individual, enabling the subject to be a concrete immediacy, an ‘ideality’ of soul - enabling the matter of consciousness, religious, moral, etc., to be his as this self, this soul, and no other, and be neither a mere latent possibility, nor a transient emotion or idea, nor an abstract inwardness, cut off from action and reality, but part and parcel of his being. In scientific studies of the soul and the mind, habit is usually passed over - either as something contemptible - or rather for the further reason that it is one of the most difficult questions of psychology.



The Soul, when its corporeity has been moulded and made thoroughly its own, finds itself there a single subject; and the corporeity is an externality which stands as a predicate, in being related to which, it is related to itself. This externality, in other words, represents not itself, but the soul, of which it is the sign. In this identity of interior and exterior, the latter subject to the former, the soul is actual: in its corporeity it has its free shape, in which it feels itself and makes itself felt, and which as the Soul’s work of art has human pathognomic and physiognomic expression.

Under the head of human expression are included, for example, the upright figure in general, and the formation of the limbs, especially the hand, as the absolute instrument, of the mouth - laughter, weeping, etc., and the note of mentality diffused over the whole, which at once announces the body as the externality of a higher nature. This note is so slight, indefinite, and inexpressible a modification, because the figure in its externality is something immediate and natural, and can therefore only be an indefinite and quite imperfect sign for the mind, unable to represent it in its actual universality. Seen from the animal world, the human figure is the supreme phase in which mind makes an appearance. But for the mind it is only its first appearance, while language is its perfect expression. And the human figure, though the proximate phase of mind’s existence, is at the same time in its physiognomic and pathognomic quality something contingent to it. To try to raise physiognomy and above all cranioscopy (phrenology) to the rank of sciences, was therefore one of the vainest fancies, still vainer than a signatura rerum, which supposed the shape of a plant to afford indication of its medicinal virtue.


Implicitly the soul shows the untruth and unreality of matter; for the soul, in its concentrated self, cuts itself off from its immediate being, placing the latter over against it as a corporeity incapable of offering resistance to its moulding influence. The soul, thus setting in opposition its being to its (conscious) self, absorbing it, and making it its own, has lost the meaning of mere soul, or the ‘immediacy’ of mind. The actual soul with its sensation and its concrete self-feeling turned into habit, has implicitly realised the ‘ideality’ of its qualities; in this externality it has recollected and inwardized itself, and is infinite self-relation. This free universality thus made explicit shows the soul awaking to the higher stage of the ego, or abstract universality, in so far as it is for the abstract universality. In this way it gains the position of thinker and subject - specially a subject of the judgement in which the ego excludes from itself the sum total of its merely natural features as an object, a world external to it - but with such respect to that object that in it it is immediately reflected into itself. Thus soul rises to become Consciousness.

Plato had a better idea of the relation of prophecy generally to the state of sober consciousness than many moderns, who supposed that the Platonic language on the subject of enthusiasm authorized their belief in the sublimity of the revelations of somnambulistic vision. Plato says in the Timaeus (p. 71), ‘The author of our being so ordered our inferior parts that they too might obtain a measure of truth, and in the liver placed their oracle (the power of divination by dreams). And herein is a proof that God has given the art of divination, not to the wisdom, but to the foolishness of man; for no man when in his wits attains prophetic truth and inspiration; but when he receives the inspired word, either his intelligence is enthralled by sleep, or he is demented by some distemper or possession (enthusiasm).’ Plato very correctly notes not merely the bodily conditions on which such visionary knowledge depends, and the possibility of the truth of the dreams, but also the inferiority of them to the reasonable frame of mind.


(a) Consciousness proper
   (a) Sensuous Consciousness
   (b) Sense-perception
   (c) The Intellect
(b) Self-consciousness
   (a) Appetite
   (b) Self-consciousness Recognitive
   (c) Universal Self-consciousness
(c) Reason




Consciousness constitutes the reflected or correlational grade of mind: the grade of mind as appearance. Ego is infinite self-relation of mind, but as subjective or as self-certainty. The immediate identity of the natural soul has been raised to this pure ‘ideal’ self-identity; and what the former contained is for this self-subsistent reflection set forth as an object. The pure abstract freedom of mind lets go from it its specific qualities - the soul’s natural life - to an equal freedom as an independent object. It is of this latter, as external to it, that the ego is in the first instance aware (conscious), and as such it is Consciousness. Ego, as this absolute negativity, is implicitly the identity in the otherness: the ego is itself that other and stretches over the object (as if that object were implicitly cancelled) - it is one side of the relationship and the whole relationship - the light, which manifests itself and something else too.


The self-identity of the mind, thus first made explicit as the Ego, is only its abstract formal ideality. As soul it was under the phase of substantial universality; now, as subjective reflection in itself, it is referred to this substantiality as to its negative, something dark and beyond it. Hence consciousness, like reciprocal dependence in general, is the contradiction between the independence of the two sides and their identity in which they are merged into one. The mind as ego is essence; but since reality, in the sphere of essence, is represented as in immediate being and at the same time as ‘ideal’, it is as consciousness only the appearance (phenomenon) of mind.


As the ego is by itself only a formal identity, the dialectical movement of its intelligible unity, i.e. the successive steps in further specification of consciousness, does not, to it, seem to be its own activity, but is implicit, and to the ego it seems an alteration of the object. Consciousness consequently appears differently modified according to the difference of the given object; and the gradual specification of consciousness appears as a variation in the characteristics of its objects. Ego, the subject of consciousness, is thinking: the logical process of modifying the object is what is identical in subject and object, their absolute interdependence, what makes the object the subject’s own.

The Kantian philosophy may be most accurately described as having viewed the mind as consciousness, and as containing the propositions only of a phenomenology (not of a philosophy) of mind. The Ego Kant regards as reference to something away and beyond (which in its abstract description is termed the thing-in-itself); and it is only from this finite point of view that he treats both intellect and will. Though in the notion of a power of reflective judgement he touches upon the Idea of mind - a subject-objectivity, an intuitive intellect, etc., and even the Idea of Nature, still this Idea is again deposed to an appearance, i.e. to a subjective maxim (§ 58). Reinhold may therefore be said to have correctly appreciated Kantism when he treated it as a theory of consciousness (under the name of ‘faculty of ideation’). Fichte kept to the same point of view: his non-ego is only something set over against the ego, only defined as in consciousness: it is made no more than an infinite ‘shock’, i.e. a thing-in-itself. Both systems therefore have clearly not reached the intelligible unity or the mind as it actually and essentially is, but only as it is in reference to something else.

As against Spinozism, again, it is to be noted that the mind in the judgement by which it ‘constitutes’ itself an ego (a free subject contrasted with its qualitative affection) has emerged from substance, and that the philosophy, which gives this judgement as the absolute characteristic of mind, has emerged from Spinozism.


The aim of conscious mind is to make its appearance identical with its essence, to raise its self-certainty to truth. The existence of mind in the stage of consciousness is finite, because it is merely a nominal self-relation, or mere certainty. The object is only abstractly characterized as its; in other words, in the object it is only as an abstract ego that the mind is reflected into itself: hence its existence there has still a content, which is not as its own.


The grades of this elevation of certainty to truth are three in number: first (a) consciousness in general, with an object set against it; (b) self-consciousness, for which ego is the object; (c) unity of consciousness and self-consciousness, where the mind sees itself embodied in the object and sees itself as implicitly and explicitly determinate, as Reason, the notion of mind.


(a) Sensuous consciousness


Consciousness is, first, immediate consciousness, and its reference to the object accordingly the simple, and underived certainty of it. The object similarly, being immediate, an existent, reflected in itself, is further characterized as immediately singular. This is sense-consciousness.

Consciousness - as a case of correlation - comprises only the categories belonging to the abstract ego or formal thinking; and these it treats as features of the object (§ 415). Sense-consciousness therefore is aware of the object as an existent, a something, an existing thing, a singular, and so on. It appears as wealthiest in matter, but as poorest in thought. That wealth of matter is made out of sensations: they are the material of consciousness (§ 414), the substantial and qualitative, what the soul in its anthropological sphere is and finds in itself. This material the ego (the reflection of the soul in itself) separates from itself, and puts it first under the category of being. Spatial and temporal Singularness, here and now (the terms by which in the Phenomenology of the Mind (Werke ii, p. 73), I described the object of sense-consciousness) strictly belongs to intuition. At present the object is at first to be viewed only in its correlation to consciousness, i.e. a something external to it, and not yet as external on its own part, or as being beside and out of itself.


The sensible as somewhat becomes an other: the reflection in itself of this somewhat, the thing, has many properties; and as a single (thing) in its immediacy has several predicates. The muchness of the sense-singular thus becomes a breadth - a variety of relations, reflectional attributes, and universalities. These are logical terms introduced by the thinking principle, i.e. in this case by the Ego, to describe the sensible. But the Ego as itself apparent sees in all this characterization a change in the object; and sensuous consciousness, so construing the object, is sense-perception.

(b) Sense-perception (2)


Consciousness, having passed beyond the sensible, wants to take the object in its truth, not as merely immediate, but as mediated, reflected in itself, and universal. Such an object is a combination of sense qualities with attributes of wider range by which thought defines concrete relations and connections. Hence the identity of consciousness with the object passes from the abstract identity of ‘I am sure’ to the definite identity of ‘I know, and am aware’.

The particular grade of consciousness on which Kantism conceives the mind is perception: which is also the general point of view taken by ordinary consciousness, and more or less by the sciences. The sensuous certitudes of single apperceptions or observations form the starting-point: these are supposed to be elevated to truth, by being regarded in their bearings, reflected upon, and on the lines of definite categories turned at the same time into something necessary and universal, viz. experiences.


This conjunction of individual and universal is admixture - the individual remains at the bottom hard and unaffected by the universal, to which, however, it is related. It is therefore a tissue of contradictions - between the single things of sense apperception, which form the alleged ground of general experience, and the universality which has a higher claim to be the essence and ground - between the individuality of a thing which, taken in its concrete content, constitutes its independence and the various properties which, free from this negative link and from one another, are independent universal matters (§ 123). This contradiction of the finite which runs through all forms of the logical spheres turns out most concrete, when the somewhat is defined as object (§§ 194 seqq.).

(c) The Intellect (3)


The proximate truth of perception is that it is the object which is an appearance, and that the object’s reflection in self is on the contrary a self-subsistent inward and universal. The consciousness of such an object is intellect. This inward, as we called it, of the thing is, on one hand, the suppression of the multiplicity of the sensible, and, in that manner, an abstract identity: on the other hand, however, it also for that reason contains the multiplicity, but as an interior ‘simple’ difference, which remains self-identical in the vicissitudes of appearance. The simple difference is the realm of the laws of the phenomena - a copy of the phenomenon, but brought to rest and universality.


The law, at first stating the mutual dependence of universal, permanent terms, has, in so far as its distinction is the inward one, its necessity on its own part; the one of the terms, as not externally different from the other, lies immediately in the other. But in this manner the interior distinction is, what it is in truth, the distinction on its own part, or the distinction which is none. With this new form-characteristic, on the whole, consciousness implicitly vanishes: for consciousness as such implies the reciprocal independence of subject and object. The ego in its judgement has an object which is not distinct from it - it has itself. Consciousness has passed into self-consciousness.



Self-consciousness is the truth of consciousness: the latter is a consequence of the former, all consciousness of an other object being as a matter of fact also self-consciousness. The object is my idea: I am aware of the object as mine; and thus in it I am aware of me. The formula of self-consciousness is I = I: - abstract freedom, pure ‘Ideality’; and thus it lacks ‘reality’: for as it is its own object, there is strictly speaking no object, because there is no distinction between it and the object.


Abstract self-consciousness is the first negation of consciousness, and for that reason it is burdened with an external object, or, nominally, with the negation of it. Thus it is at the same time the antecedent stage, consciousness: it is the contradiction of itself as self-consciousness and as consciousness. But the latter aspect and the negation in general is in I = I potentially suppressed; and hence as this certitude of self against the object it is the impulse to realize its implicit nature, by giving its abstract self-awareness content and objectivity, and in the other direction to free itself from its sensuousness, to set aside the given objectivity and identify it with itself. The two processes are one and the same, the identification of its consciousness and self-consciousness.

(a) Appetite or Instinctive Desire


Self-consciousness, in its immediacy, is a singular, and a desire (appetite) - the contradiction implied in its abstraction which should yet be objective - or in its immediacy which has the shape of an external object and should be subjective. The certitude of one’s self, which issues from the suppression of mere consciousness, pronounces the object null: and the outlook of self-consciousness towards the object equally qualifies the abstract ideality of such self-consciousness as null.


Self-consciousness, therefore, knows itself implicit in the object, which in this outlook is conformable to the appetite. In the negation of the two one-sided moments by the ego’s own activity, this identity comes to be for the ego. To this activity the object, which implicitly and for self-consciousness is self-less, can make no resistance: the dialectic, implicit in it, towards self-suppression exists in this case as that activity of the ego. Thus while the given object is rendered subjective, the subjectivity divests itself of its one-sidedness and becomes objective to itself.


The product of this process is the fast conjunction of the ego with itself, its satisfaction realized, and itself made actual. On the external side it continues, in this return upon itself, primarily describable as an individual, and maintains itself as such; because its bearing upon the self-less object is purely negative, the latter, therefore, being merely consumed. Thus appetite in its satisfaction is always destructive, and in its content selfish: and as the satisfaction has only happened in the individual (and that is transient) the appetite is again generated in the very act of satisfaction.


But on the inner side, or implicitly, the sense of self which the ego gets in the satisfaction does not remain in abstract self-concentration or in mere individuality; on the contrary - as negation of immediacy and individuality the result involves a character of universality and of the identity of self-consciousness with its object. The judgement or diremption of this self-consciousness is the consciousness of a ‘free’ object, in which ego is aware of itself as an ego, which however is also still outside it.

(b) Self-consciousness Recognitive


Here there is a self-consciousness for a self-consciousness, at first immediately, as one of two things for another. In that other as ego I behold myself, and yet also an immediately existing object, another ego absolutely independent of me and opposed to me. (The suppression of the singleness of self-consciousness was only a first step in the suppression, and it merely led to the characterization of it as particular.) This contradiction gives either self-consciousness the impulse to show itself as a free self, and to exist as such for the other: - the process of recognition.


The process is a battle. I cannot be aware of me as myself in another individual, so long as I see in that other an other and an immediate existence: and I am consequently bent upon the suppression of this immediacy of his. But in like measure I cannot be recognized as immediate, except so far as I overcome the mere immediacy on my own part, and thus give existence to my freedom. But this immediacy is at the same time the corporeity of self-consciousness, in which as in its sign and tool the latter has its own sense of self, and its being for others, and the means for entering into relation with them.


The fight of recognition is a life and death struggle: either self-consciousness imperils the other’s life, and incurs a like peril for its own - but only peril, for either is no less bent on maintaining his life, as the existence of his freedom. Thus the death of one, though by the abstract, therefore rude, negation of immediacy, it, from one point of view, solves the contradiction, is yet, from the essential point of view (i.e. the outward and visible recognition), a new contradiction (for that recognition is at the same time undone by the other’s death) and a greater than the other.


But because life is as requisite as liberty to the solution, the fight ends in the first instance as a one-sided negation with inequality. While the one combatant prefers life, retains his single self-consciousness, but surrenders his claim for recognition, the other holds fast to his self-assertion and is recognized by the former as his superior. Thus arises the status of master and slave.

In the battle for recognition and the subjugation under a master, we see, on their phenomenal side, the emergence of man’s social life and the commencement of political union. Force, which is the basis of this phenomenon, is not on that account a basis of right, but only the necessary and legitimate factor in the passage from the state of self-consciousness sunk in appetite and selfish isolation into the state of universal self-consciousness. Force, then, is the external or phenomenal commencement of states, not their underlying and essential principle.


This status, in the first place, implies common wants and common concern for their satisfaction - for the means of mastery, the slave, must likewise be kept in life. In place of the rude destruction of the immediate object there ensues acquisition, preservation, and formation of it, as the instrumentality in which the two extremes of independence and non-independence are welded together. The form of universality thus arising in satisfying the want, creates a permanent means and a provision which takes care for and secures the future.


But secondly, when we look to the distinction of the two, the master beholds in the slave and his servitude the supremacy of his single self-hood resulting from the suppression of immediate self-hood, a suppression, however, which falls on another. This other, the slave, however, in the service of the master, works off his individualist self-will, overcomes the inner immediacy of appetite, and in this divestment of self and in ‘the fear of his lord’ makes ‘the beginning of wisdom’ - the passage to universal self- consciousness.

(c) Universal Self-consciousness

§436 Universal self-consciousness is the affirmative awareness of self in an other self: each self as a free individuality has his own ‘absolute’ independence, yet in virtue of the negation of its immediacy or appetite without distinguishing itself from that other. Each is thus universal self-consciousness and objective; each has ‘real’ universality in the shape of reciprocity, so far as each knows itself recognized in the other freeman, and is aware of this in so far as it recognizes the other and knows him to be free.

This universal reappearance of self-consciousness - the notion which is aware of itself in its objectivity as a subjectivity identical with itself and for that reason universal - is the form of consciousness which lies at the root of all true mental or spiritual life - in family, fatherland, state, and of all virtues, love, friendship, valour, honour, fame. But this appearance of the underlying essence may also be severed from that essence, and be maintained apart in worthless honour, idle fame, etc.

§437 This unity of consciousness and self-consciousness implies in the first instance the individuals mutually throwing light upon each other. But the difference between those who are thus identified is mere vague diversity - or rather it is a difference which is none. Hence its truth is the fully and really existent universality and objectivity of self-consciousness - which is Reason.

Reason, as the Idea (§ 213) as it here appears, is to be taken as meaning that the distinction between notion and reality which it unifies has the special aspect of a distinction between the self-concentrated notion or consciousness, and the object subsisting external and opposed to it.


§438 The essential and actual truth which reason is, lies in the simple identity of the subjectivity of the notion with its objectivity and universality. The universality of reason, therefore, whilst it signifies that the object, which was only given in consciousness qua consciousness, is now itself universal, permeating and encompassing the ego, also signifies that the pure ego is the pure form which overlaps the object and encompasses it.

§439 Self-consciousness, thus certified that its determinations are no less objective, or determinations of the very being of things, than they are its own thoughts, is Reason, which as such an identity is not only the absolute substance, but the truth that knows it. For truth here has, as its peculiar mode and immanent form, the self-centred pure notion, ego, the certitude of self as infinite universality. Truth, aware of what it is, is mind (spirit).


(a) Theoretical Mind
   (a) Intuition
   (b) Representation
        (aa) Recollection
        (bb) Imagination
        (cc) Memory
   (c) Thinking
(b) Mind Practical
   (a) Practical Sense or Feeling
   (b) The Impulses and Choice
   (c) Happiness
(c) Free Mind




Mind has defined itself as the truth of soul and consciousness - the former a simple immediate totality, the latter now an infinite form which is not, like consciousness, restricted by that content, and does not stand in mere correlation to it as to its object, but is an awareness of this substantial totality, neither subjective nor objective. Mind, therefore, starts only from its own being and is in correlation only with its own features.

Psychology accordingly studies the faculties or general modes of mental activity qua mental - mental vision, ideation, remembering, etc., desires, etc.- apart both from the content, which on the phenomenal side is found in empirical ideation, in thinking also and in desire and will, and from the two forms in which these modes exist, viz. in the soul as a physical mode, and in consciousness itself as a separately existent object of that consciousness. This, however, is not an arbitrary abstraction by the psychologist. Mind is just this elevation above nature and physical modes, and above the complication with an external object - in one word, above the material, as its concept has just shown. All it has now to do is to realize this notion of its freedom, and get rid of the form of immediacy with which it once more begins. The content which is elevated to intuitions is its sensations: it is its intuitions also which are transmuted into representations, and its representations which are transmuted again into thoughts, etc.


The soul is finite, so far as its features are immediate or connatural. Consciousness is finite, in so far as it has an object. Mind is finite, in so far as, though it no longer has an object, it has a mode in its knowledge; i.e. it is finite by means of its immediacy, or, what is the same thing, by being subjective or only a notion. And it is a matter of no consequence, which is defined as its notion, and which as the reality of that notion. Say that its notion is the utterly infinite objective reason, then its reality is knowledge or intelligence: say that knowledge is its notion, then its reality is that reason, and the realization of knowledge consists in appropriating reason. Hence the finitude of mind is to be placed in the (temporary) failure of knowledge to get hold of the full reality of its reason, or, equally, in the (temporary) failure of reason to attain full manifestation in knowledge. Reason at the same time is only infinite so far as it is ‘absolute’ freedom; so far, that is, as presupposing itself for its knowledge to work upon, it thereby reduces itself to finitude, and appears as everlasting movement of superseding this immediacy, of comprehending itself, and being a rational knowledge.


The progress of mind is development, in so far as its existent phase, viz. knowledge, involves as its intrinsic purpose and burden that utter and complete autonomy which is rationality; in which case the action of translating this purpose into reality is strictly only a nominal passage over into manifestation, and is even there a return into itself. So far as knowledge which has not shaken off its original quality of mere knowledge is only abstract or formal, the goal of mind is to give it objective fulfilment, and thus at the same time produce its freedom.

The development here meant is not that of the individual (which has a certain anthropological character), where faculties and forces are regarded as successively emerging and presenting themselves in external existences series of steps, on the ascertainment of which there was for a long time great stress laid (by the system of Condillac), as if a conjectural natural emergence could exhibit the origin of these faculties and explain them. In Condillac’s method there is an unmistakable intention to show how the several modes of mental activity could be made intelligible without losing sight of mental unity, and to exhibit their necessary interconnection. But the categories employed in doing so are of a wretched sort. Their ruling principle is that the sensible is taken (and with justice) as the prius or the initial basis, but that the latter phases that follow this starting-point present themselves as emerging in a solely affirmative manner, and the negative aspect of mental activity, by which this material is transmuted into mind and destroyed as a sensible, is misconceived and overlooked. As the theory of Condillac states it, the sensible is not merely the empirical first, but is left as if it were the true and essential foundation.

Similarly, if the activities of mind are treated as mere manifestations, forces, perhaps in terms stating their utility or suitability for some other interest of head or heart, there is no indication of the true final aim of the whole business. That can only be the intelligible unity of mind, and its activity can only have itself as aim; i.e. its aim can only be to get rid of the form of immediacy or subjectivity, to reach and get hold of itself, and to liberate itself to itself. In this way the so-called faculties of mind as thus distinguished are only to be treated as steps of this liberation. And this is the only rational mode of studying the mind and its various activities.


As consciousness has for its object the stage which preceded it, viz. the natural soul (§ 413), so mind has or rather makes consciousness its object: i.e. whereas consciousness is only the virtual identity of the ego with its other (§ 415), the mind realizes that identity as the concrete unity which it and it only knows. Its productions are governed by the principle of all reason that the contents are at once potentially existent, and are the mind’s own, in freedom. Thus, if we consider the initial aspect of mind, that aspect is twofold - as being and as its own: by the one, the mind finds in itself something which is, by the other it affirms it to be only its own. The way of mind is therefore

  1. to be theoretical: it has to do with the rational as its immediate affection which it must render its own: or it has to free knowledge from its presupposedness and therefore from its abstractness, and make the affection subjective. When the affection has been rendered its own, and the knowledge consequently characterized as free intelligence, i.e. as having its full and free characterization in itself, it is

  2. Will: practical mind, which in the first place is likewise formal - i.e. its content is at first only its own, and is immediately willed; and it proceeds next to liberate its volition from its subjectivity, which is the one-sided form of its contents, so that it

  3. confronts itself as free mind and thus gets rid of both its defects of one-sidedness.


The theoretical as well as the practical mind still fall under the general range of Mind Subjective. They are not to be distinguished as active and passive. Subjective mind is productive: but it is a merely nominal productivity. Inwards, the theoretical mind produces only its ‘ideal’ world, and gains abstract autonomy within; while the practical, while it has to do with autonomous products, with a material which is its own, has a material which is only nominally such, and therefore a restricted content, for which it gains the form of universality. Outwards, the subjective mind (which as a unity of soul and consciousness, is thus also a reality - a reality at once anthropological and conformable to consciousness) has for its products, in the theoretical range, the word, and in the practical (not yet deed and action, but) enjoyment.

Psychology, like logic, is one of those sciences which in modern times have yet derived least profit from the more general mental culture and the deeper conception of reason. It is still extremely ill off. The turn which the Kantian philosophy has taken has given it greater importance: it has, and that in its empirical condition, been claimed as the basis of metaphysics, which is to consist of nothing but the empirical apprehension and the analysis of the facts of human consciousness, merely as facts, just as they are given. This position of psychology, mixing it up with forms belonging to the range of consciousness and with anthropology, has led to no improvement in its own condition: but it has had the further effect that, both for the mind as such, and for metaphysics and philosophy generally, all attempts have been abandoned to ascertain the necessity of essential and actual reality, to get at the notion and the truth.



Intelligence finds itself determined: this is its apparent aspect from which in its immediacy it starts. But as knowledge, intelligence consists in treating what is found as its own. Its activity has to do with the empty form - the pretense of finding reason: and its aim is to realize its concept or to be reason actual, along with which the content is realized as rational. This activity is cognition. The nominal knowledge, which is only certitude, elevates itself, as reason is concrete, to definite and conceptual knowledge. The course of this elevation is itself rational, and consists in a necessary passage (governed by the concept) of one grade or term of intelligent activity (a so-called faculty of mind) into another. The refutation which such cognition gives of the semblance that the rational is found, starts from the certitude or the faith of intelligence in its capability of rational knowledge, and in the possibility of being able to appropriate the reason, which it and the content virtually is.

The distinction of Intelligence from Will is often incorrectly taken to mean that each has a fixed and separate existence of its own, as if volition could be without intelligence, or the activity of intelligence could be without will. The possibility of a culture of the intellect which leaves the heart untouched, as it is said, and of the heart without the intellect - of hearts which in one-sided way want intellect, and heartless intellects - only proves at most that bad and radically untrue existences occur. But it is not philosophy which should take such untruths of existence and of mere imagining for truth - take the worthless for the essential nature. A host of other phrases used of intelligence, e.g. that it receives and accepts impressions from outside, that ideas arise through the causal operations of external things upon it, etc., belong to a point of view utterly alien to the mental level or to the position of philosophic study.

A favorite reflectional form is that of powers and faculties of soul, intelligence, or mind. Faculty, like power or force, is the fixed quality of any object of thought, conceived as reflected into self. Force (§ 136) is no doubt the infinity of form - of the inward and the outward: but its essential finitude involves the indifference of content to form (ib. note). In this lies the want of organic unity which by this reflectional form, treating mind as a ‘lot’ of forces, is brought into mind, as it is by the same method brought into nature. Any aspect which can be distinguished in mental action is stereotyped as an independent entity, and the mind thus made a skeleton-like mechanical collection. It makes absolutely no difference if we substitute the expression ‘activities’ for powers and faculties. Isolate the activities and you similarly make the mind a mere aggregate, and treat their essential correlation as an external incident.

The action of intelligence as theoretical mind has been called cognition (knowledge). Yet this does not mean intelligence inter alia knows - besides which it also intuits, conceives, remembers, imagines, etc. To take up such a position is in the first instance, part and parcel of that isolating of mental activity just censured; but it is also in addition connected with the great question of modern times, as to whether true knowledge or the knowledge of truth is possible - which, if answered in the negative, must lead to abandoning the effort. The numerous aspects and reasons and modes of phrase with which external reflection swells the bulk of this question are cleared up in their place: the more external the attitude of understanding in the question, the more diffuse it makes its simple object. At the present place the simple concept of cognition is what confronts the quite general assumption taken up by the question, viz. the assumption that the possibility of true knowledge in general is in dispute, and the assumption that it is possible for us at our will either to prosecute or to abandon cognition. The concept or possibility of cognition has come out as intelligence itself, as the certitude of reason: the act of cognition itself is therefore the actuality of intelligence. It follows from this that it is absurd to speak of intelligence and yet at the same time of the possibility or choice of knowing or not. But cognition is genuine, just so far as it realizes itself, or makes the concept its own. This nominal description has its concrete meaning exactly where cognition has it. The stages of its realizing activity are intuition, conception, memory, etc.: these activities have no other immanent meaning: their aim is solely the concept of cognition (§ 445 note). If they are isolated, however, then an impression is implied that they are useful for something else than cognition, or that they severally procure a cognitive satisfaction of their own; and that leads to a glorification of the delights of intuition, remembrance, imagination. It is true that even as isolated (i.e. as non-intelligent), intuition, imagination, etc. can afford a certain satisfaction: what physical nature succeeds in doing by its fundamental quality - its out-of-selfness - exhibiting the elements or factors of immanent reason external to each other - that the intelligence can do by voluntary act, but the same result may happen where the intelligence is itself only natural and untrained. But the true satisfaction, it is admitted, is only afforded by an intuition permeated by intellect and mind, by rational conception, by products of imagination which are permeated by reason and exhibit ideas - in a word, by cognitive intuition, cognitive conception, etc. The truth ascribed to such satisfaction lies in this, that intuition, conception, etc. are not isolated, and exist only as ‘moments’ in the totality of cognition itself.

(a) Intuition (Intelligent Perception)(3)


The mind which as soul is physically conditioned - which as consciousness stands to this condition on the same terms as to an outward object - but which as intelligence finds itself so characterized - is (1) an inarticulate embryonic life, in which it is to itself as it were palpable and has the whole material of its knowledge. In consequence of the immediacy in which it is thus originally, it is in this stage only as an individual and possesses a vulgar subjectivity. It thus appears as mind in the guise of feeling.

If feeling formerly turned up (§ 399) as a mode of the soul’s existence, the finding of it or its immediacy was in that case essentially to be conceived as a congenital or corporeal condition; whereas at present it is only to be taken abstractly in the general sense of immediacy.


The characteristic form of feeling is that though it is a mode of some ‘affection’, this mode is simple. Hence feeling, even should its import be most sterling and true, has the form of casual particularity - not to mention that its import may also be the most scanty and most untrue.

It is commonly enough assumed that mind has in its feeling the material of its ideas, but the statement is more usually understood in a sense the opposite of that which it has here. In contrast with the simplicity of feeling it is usual rather to assume that the primary mental phase is judgement generally, or the distinction of consciousness into subject and object; and the special quality of sensation is derived from an independent object, external or internal. With us, in the truth of mind, the mere consciousness point of view, as opposed to true mental ‘idealism’, is swallowed up, and the matter of feeling has rather been supposed already as immanent in the mind. - It is commonly taken for granted that as regards content there is more in feeling than in thought: this being specially affirmed of moral and religious feelings. Now the material, which the mind as it feels is to itself, is here the result and the mature result of a fully organized reason. hence under the head of feeling is comprised all rational and indeed all spiritual content whatever. But the form of selfish singleness to which feeling reduces the mind is the lowest and worst vehicle it can have - one in which it is not found as a free and infinitely universal principle, but rather as subjective and private, in content and value entirely contingent. Trained and sterling feeling is the feeling of an educated mind which has acquired the consciousness of the true differences of things, of their essential relationships and real characters; and it is with such a mind that this rectified material enters into its feeling and receives this form. Feeling is the immediate, as it were the closest, contact in which the thinking subject can stand to a given content. Against that content the subject reacts first of all with its particular self-feeling, which though it may be of more sterling value and of wider range than a one-sided intellectual standpoint, may just as likely be narrow and poor; and in any case is the form of the particular and subjective. If a man on any topic appeals not to the nature and notion of the thing, or at least to reasons - to the generalities of common sense - but to his feeling, the only thing to do is to let him alone, because by his behaviour he refuses to have any lot or part in common rationality, and shuts himself up in his own isolated subjectivity - his private and particular self.


  1. As this immediate finding is broken up into elements, we have the one factor in Attention - the abstract identical direction of mind (in feeling, as also in all other more advanced developments of it) - an active self-collection - the factor of fixing it as our own, but with an as yet only nominal autonomy of intelligence. Apart from such attention there is nothing for the mind. The other factor is to invest the special quality of feeling, as contrasted with this inwardness of mind, with the character of something existent, but as a negative or as the abstract otherness of itself. Intelligence thus defines the content of sensation as something that is out of itself, projects it into time and space, which are the forms in which it is intuitive. To the view of consciousness the material is only an object of consciousness, a relative other: from mind it receives the rational characteristic of being its very other (§§ 247, 254).


  1. When intelligence reaches a concrete unity of the two factors, that is to say, when it is at once self-collected in this externally existing material, and yet in this self-collectedness sunk in the out-of-selfness, it is Intuition or Mental Vision.


At and towards this its own out-of-selfness, intelligence no less essentially directs its attention. In this its immediacy it is an awaking to itself, a recollection of itself. Thus intuition becomes a concretion of the material with the intelligence, which makes it its own, so that it no longer needs this immediacy, no longer needs to find the content.

(b) Representation (or Mental Idea)(4)


Representation is this recollected or inwardized intuition, and as such is the middle between that stage of intelligence where it finds itself immediately subject to modification and that where intelligence is in its freedom, or, as thought. The representation is the property of intelligence; with a preponderating subjectivity, however, as its right of property is still conditioned by contrast with the immediacy, and the representation cannot as it stands be said to be. The path of intelligence in representations is to render the immediacy inward, to invest itself with intuitive action in itself, and at the same time to get rid of the subjectivity of the inwardness, and inwardly divest itself of it; so as to be in itself in an externality of its own. But as representation begins from intuition and the ready-found material of intuition, the intuitional contrast still continues to affect its activity, and makes its concrete products still ‘syntheses’, which do not grow to the concrete immanence of the notion till they reach the stage of thought.

(aa) Recollection


Intelligence, as it at first recollects the intuition, places the content of feeling in its own inwardness - in a space and a time of its own. In this way that content is (1) an image or picture, liberated from its original immediacy and abstract singleness amongst other things, and received into the universality of the ego. The image loses the full complement of features proper to intuition, and is arbitrary or contingent, isolated, we may say, from the external place, time, and immediate context in which the intuition stood.


  1. The image is of itself transient, and intelligence itself is as attention its time and also its place, its when and where. But intelligence is not only consciousness and actual existence, but qua intelligence is the subject and the potentiality of its own specializations. The image when thus kept in mind is no longer existent, but stored up out of consciousness.

To grasp intelligence as this night-like mine or pit in which is stored a world of infinitely many images and representations, yet without being in consciousness, is from the one point of view the universal postulate which bids us treat the notion as concrete, in the way we treat, for example, the germ as affirmatively containing, in virtual possibility, all the qualities that come into existence in the subsequent development of the tree. Inability to grasp a universal like this, which, though intrinsically concrete, still continues simple, is what has led people to talk about special fibres and areas as receptacles of particular ideas. It was felt that what was diverse should in the nature of things have a local habitation peculiar to itself. But whereas the reversion of the germ from its existing specializations to its simplicity in a purely potential existence takes place only in another germ - the germ of the fruit; intelligence qua intelligence shows the potential coming to free existence in its development, and yet at the same time collecting itself in its inwardness. Hence from the other point of view intelligence is to be conceived as this subconscious mine, i.e. as the existent universal in which the different has not yet been realized in its separations. And it is indeed this potentiality which is the first form of universality offered in mental representation.


  1. An image thus abstractly treasured up needs, if it is to exist, an actual intuition: and what is strictly called Remembrance is the reference of the image to an intuition - and that as a subsumption of the immediate single intuition (impression) under what is in point of form universal, under the representation (idea) with the same content. Thus intelligence recognizes the specific sensation and the intuition of it as what is already its own - in them it is still within itself: at the same time it is aware that what is only its (primarily) internal image is also an immediate object of intuition, by which it is authenticated. The image, which in the mine of intelligence was only its property, now that it has been endued with externality, comes actually into its possession. And so the image is at once rendered distinguishable from the intuition and separable from the blank night in which it was originally submerged. Intelligence is thus the force which can give forth its property, and dispense with external intuition for its existence in it. This ‘synthesis’ of the internal image with the recollected existence is representation proper: by this synthesis the internal now has the qualification of being able to be presented before intelligence and to have its existence in it.
(bb) Imagination


  1. The intelligence which is active in this possession is the reproductive imagination, where the images issue from the inward world belonging to the ego, which is now the power over them. The images are in the first instance referred to this external, immediate time and space which is treasured up along with them. But it is solely in the conscious subject, where it is treasured up, that the image has the individuality in which the features composing it are conjoined: whereas their original concretion, i.e. at first only in space and time, as a unit of intuition, has been broken up. The content reproduced, belonging as it does to the self-identical unity of intelligence, and an out-put from its universal mine, has a general idea (representation) to supply the link of association for the images which according to circumstances are more abstract or more concrete ideas.

The so-called laws of the association of ideas were objects of great interest, especially during that outburst of empirical psychology which was contemporaneous with the decline of philosophy. In the first place, it is not Ideas (properly so called) which are associated. Secondly,.these modes of relation are not laws, just for the reason that there are so many laws about the same thing, as to suggest a caprice and a contingency opposed to the very nature of law. It is a matter of chance whether the link of association is something pictorial, or an intellectual category, such as likeness and contrast, reason and consequence. The train of images and representations suggested by association is the sport of vacant-minded ideation, where, though intelligence shows itself by a certain formal universality, the matter is entirely pictorial. - Image and Idea, if we leave out of account the more precise definition of those forms given above, present also a distinction in content. The former is the more sensuously concrete idea, whereas the idea (representation), whatever be its content (from image, notion, or idea), has always the peculiarity, though belonging to intelligence, of being in respect of its content given and immediate. It is still true of this idea or representation, as of all intelligence, that it finds its material, as a matter of fact, to be so and so; and the universality which the aforesaid material receives by ideation is still abstract. Mental representation is the mean in the syllogism of the elevation of intelligence, the link between the two significations of self-relatedness - viz. being and universality, which in consciousness receive the title of object and subject. Intelligence complements what is merely found by the attribution of universality, and the internal and its own by the attribution of being, but a being of its own institution. (On the distinction of representations and thoughts, see Introduction to the Logic, § 20 note.)

Abstraction, which occurs in the ideational activity by which general ideas are produced (and ideas qua ideas virtually have the form of generality), is frequently explained as the incidence of many similar images one upon another and is supposed to be thus made intelligible. If this superimposing is to be no mere accident and without principle, a force of attraction in like images must be assumed, or something of the sort, which at the same time would have the negative power of rubbing off the dissimilar elements against each other. This force is really intelligence itself - the self-identical ego which by its internalizing recollection gives the images ipso facto generality, and subsumes the single intuition under the already internalized image (§ 453).


Thus even the association of ideas is to be treated as a subsumption of the individual under the universal, which forms their connecting link. But here intelligence is more than merely a general form: its inwardness is an internally definite, concrete subjectivity with a substance and value of its own, derived from some interest, some latent concept or Ideal principle, so far as we may by anticipation speak of such. Intelligence is the power which wields the stores of images and ideas belonging to it, and which thus (2) freely combines and subsumes these stores in obedience to its peculiar tenor. Such is creative imagination - symbolic, allegoric, or poetical imagination - where the intelligence gets a definite embodiment in this store of ideas and informs them with its general tone. These more or less concrete, individualized creations are still ‘syntheses’: for the material, in which the subjective principles and ideas get a mentally pictorial existence, is derived from the data of intuition.


In creative imagination intelligence has been so far perfected as to need no aids for intuition. Its self-sprung ideas have pictorial existence. This pictorial creation of its intuitive spontaneity is subjective - still lacks the side of existence. But as the creation unites the internal idea with the vehicle of materialization, intelligence has therein implicitly returned both to identical self-relation and to immediacy. As reason, its first start was to appropriate the immediate datum in itself (§§ 445, 435), i.e. to universalize it; and now its action as reason (§ 438) is from the present point directed towards giving the character of an existent to what in it has been perfected to concrete auto-intuition. In other words, it aims at making itself be and be a fact. Acting on this view, it is self-uttering, intuition-producing: the imagination which creates signs.

Productive imagination is the centre in which the universal and being, one’s own and what is picked up, internal and external, are completely welded into one. The preceding ‘syntheses’ of intuition, recollection, etc., are unifications of the same factors, but they are ‘syntheses’; it is not till creative imagination that intelligence ceases to be the vague mine and the universal, and becomes an individuality, a concrete subjectivity, in which the self-reference is defined both to being and to universality. The creations of imagination are on all hands recognized as such combinations of the mind’s own and inward with the matter of intuition; what further and more definite aspects they have is a matter for other departments. For the present this internal studio of intelligence is only to be looked at in these abstract aspects. - Imagination, when regarded as the agency of this unification, is reason, but only a nominal reason, because the matter or theme it embodies is to imagination qua imagination a matter of indifference; whilst reason qua reason also insists upon the truth of its content.

Another point calling for special notice is that, when imagination elevates the internal meaning to an image and intuition, and this is expressed by saying that it gives the former the character of an existent, the phrase must not seem surprising that intelligence makes itself be as a thing; for its ideal import is itself, and so is the aspect which it imposes upon it. The image produced by imagination of an object is a bare mental or subjective intuition: in the sign or symbol it adds intuitability proper; and in mechanical memory it completes, so far as it is concerned, this form of being.


In this unity (initiated by intelligence) of an independent representation with an intuition, the matter of the latter is, in the first instance, something accepted, somewhat immediate or given (for example, the colour of the cockade, etc.). But in the fusion of the two elements, the intuition does not count positively or as representing itself, but as representative of something else. It is an image, which has received as its soul and meaning an independent mental representation. This intuition is the Sign.

The sign is some immediate intuition, representing a totally different import from what naturally belongs to it; it is the pyramid into which a foreign soul has been conveyed, and where it is conserved. The sign is different from the symbol: for in the symbol the original characters (in essence and conception) of the visible object are more or less identical with the import which it bears as symbol; whereas in the sign, strictly so-called, the natural attributes of the intuition, and the connotation of which it is a sign, have nothing to do with each other. Intelligence therefore gives proof of wider choice and ampler authority in the use of intuitions when it treats them as designatory (significative) rather than as symbolical.

In logic and psychology, signs and language are usually foisted in somewhere as an appendix, without any trouble being taken to display their necessity and systematic place in the economy of intelligence. The right place for the sign is that just given: where intelligence - which as intuiting generates the form of time and space, but appears as recipient of sensible matter, out of which it forms ideas - now gives its own original ideas a definite existence from itself, treating the intuition (or time and space as filled full) as its own property, deleting the connotation which properly and naturally belongs to it, and conferring on it an other connotation as its soul and import. This sign-creating activity may be distinctively named ‘productive’ Memory (the primarily abstract ‘Mnemosyne’); since memory, which in ordinary life is often used as interchangeable and synonymous with remembrance (recollection), and even with conception and imagination, has always to do with signs only.


The intuition - in its natural phase a something given and given in space - acquires, when employed as a sign, the peculiar characteristic of existing only as superseded and sublimated. Such is the negativity of intelligence; and thus the truer phase of the intuition used as a sign is existence in time (but its existence vanishes in the moment of being), and if we consider the rest of its external psychical quality, its institution by intelligence, but an institution growing out of its (anthropological) own naturalness. This institution of the natural is the vocal note, where the inward idea manifests itself in adequate utterance. The vocal note which receives further articulation to express specific ideas - speech and, its system, language - gives to sensations, intuitions, conceptions, a second and higher existence than they naturally possess - invests them with the right of existence in the ideational realm.

Language here comes under discussion only in the special aspect of a product of intelligence for manifesting its ideas in an external medium. If language had to be treated in its concrete nature, it would be necessary for its vocabulary or material part to recall the anthropological or psychophysiological point of view (§ 401), and for the grammar or formal portion to anticipate the standpoint of analytic understanding. With regard to the elementary material of language, while on one hand the theory of mere accident has disappeared, on the other the principle of imitation has been restricted to the slight range it actually covers - that of vocal objects. Yet one may still hear the German language praised for its wealth - that wealth consisting in its special expression for special sounds - Rauschen, Sausen, Knarren, etc.; - there have been collected more than a hundred such words, perhaps: the humour of the moment creates fresh ones when it pleases. Such superabundance in the realm of sense and of triviality contributes nothing to form the real wealth of a cultivated language. The strictly raw material of language itself depends more upon an inward symbolism than a symbolism referring to external objects; it depends, i.e. on anthropological articulation, as it were the posture in the corporeal act of oral utterance. For each vowel and consonant accordingly, as well as for their more abstract elements (the posture of lips, palate, tongue in each) and for their combinations, people have tried to find the appropriate signification. But these dull subconscious beginnings are deprived of their original importance and prominence by new influences, it may be by external agencies or by the needs of civilization. Having been originally sensuous intuitions, they are reduced to signs, and thus have only traces left of their original meaning, if it be not altogether extinguished. As to the formal element, again, it is the work of analytic intellect which informs language with its categories: it is this logical instinct which gives rise to grammar. The study of languages still in their original state, which we have first really begun to make acquaintance with in modern times, has shown on this point that they contain a very elaborate grammar and express distinctions which are lost or have been largely obliterated in the languages of more civilized nations. It seems as if the language of the most civilized nations has the most imperfect grammar, and that the same language has a more perfect grammar when the nation is in a more uncivilized state than when it reaches a higher civilization. (Cf. W. von Humboldt’s Essay on the Dual.)

In speaking of vocal (which is the original) language, we may touch, only in passing, upon written languages further development in the particular sphere of language which borrows the help of an externally practical activity. It is from the province of immediate spatial intuition to which written language proceeds that it takes and produces the signs (§ 454). In particular, hieroglyphics uses spatial figures to designate ideas; alphabetical writing, on the other hand, uses them to designate vocal notes which are already signs. Alphabetical writing thus consists of signs of signs - the words or concrete signs of vocal language being analysed into their simple elements, which severally receive designation. - Leibniz’s practical mind misled him to exaggerate the advantages which a complete written language, formed on the hieroglyphic method (and hieroglyphics are used even where there is alphabetic writing, as in our signs for the numbers, the planets, the chemical elements, etc.), would have as a universal language for the intercourse of nations and especially of scholars. But we may be sure that it was rather the intercourse of nations (as was probably the case in Phoenicia, and still takes place in Canton - see Macartney’s Travels by Staunton) which occasioned the need of alphabetical writing and led to its formation. At any rate a comprehensive hieroglyphic language for ever completed is impracticable. Sensible objects no doubt admit of permanent signs; but, as regards signs for mental objects, the progress of thought and the continual development of logic lead to changes in the views of their internal relations and thus also of their nature; and this would involve the rise of a new hieroglyphical denotation. Even in the case of sense-objects it happens that their names, i.e. their signs in vocal language, are frequently changed, as, for example, in chemistry and mineralogy. Now that it has been forgotten what names properly are, viz. externalities which of themselves have no sense, and only get signification as signs, and now that, instead of names proper, people ask for terms expressing a sort of definition, which is frequently changed capriciously and fortuitously, the denomination, i.e. the composite name formed of signs of their generic characters or other supposed characteristic properties, is altered in accordance with the differences of view with regard to the genus or other supposed specific property. It is only a stationary civilization, like the Chinese, which admits of the hieroglyphic language of that nation; and its method of writing moreover can only be the lot of that small part of a nation which is in exclusive possession of mental culture. - The progress of the vocal language depends most closely on the habit of alphabetical writing; by means of which only does vocal language acquire the precision and purity of its articulation. The imperfection of the Chinese vocal language is notorious: numbers of its words possess several utterly different meanings, as many as ten and twenty, so that, in speaking, the distinction is made perceptible merely by accent and intensity, by speaking low and soft or crying out. The European, learning to speak Chinese, falls into the most ridiculous blunders before he has mastered these absurd refinements of accentuation. Perfection here consists in the opposite of that parler sans accent which in Europe is justly required of an educated speaker. The hieroglyphic mode of writing keeps the Chinese vocal language from reaching that objective precision which is gained in articulation by alphabetic writing.

Alphabetic writing is on all accounts the more intelligent: in it the word - the mode, peculiar to the intellect, of uttering its ideas most worthily - is brought to consciousness and made an object of reflection. Engaging the attention of intelligence, as it does, it is analysed; the work of sign-making is reduced to its few simple elements (the primary postures of articulation) in which the sense-factor in speech is brought to the form of universality, at the same time that in this elementary phase it acquires complete precision and purity. Thus alphabetic writing retains at the same time the advantage of vocal language, that the ideas have names strictly so called: the name is the simple sign for the exact idea, i.e. the simple plain idea, not decomposed into its features and compounded out of them. Hieroglyphics, instead of springing from the direct analysis of sensible signs, like alphabetic writing, arise from an antecedent analysis of ideas. Thus a theory readily arises that all ideas may be reduced to their elements, or simple logical terms, so that from the elementary signs chosen to express these (as, in the case of the Chinese Koua, the simple straight stroke, and the stroke broken into two parts) a hieroglyphic system would be generated by their composition. This feature of hieroglyphic - the analytical designations of ideas - which misled Leibniz to regard it as preferable to alphabetic writing is rather in antagonism with the fundamental desideratum of language - the name. To want a name means that for the immediate idea (which, however ample a connotation it may include, is still for the mind simple in the name), we require a simple immediate sign which for its own sake does not suggest anything, and has for its sole function to signify and represent sensibly the simple idea as such. It is not merely the image-loving and image-limited intelligence that lingers over the simplicity of ideas and redintegrates them from the more abstract factors into which they have been analysed: thought too reduces to the form of a simple thought the concrete connotation which it ‘resumes’ and reunites from the mere aggregate of attributes to which analysis has reduced it. Both alike require such signs, simple in respect of their meaning: signs, which though consisting of several letters or syllables and even decomposed into such, yet do not exhibit a combination of several ideas. - What has been stated is the principle for settling the value of these written languages. It also follows that in hieroglyphics the relations of concrete mental ideas to one another must necessarily be tangled and perplexed, and that the analysis of these (and the proximate results of such analysis must again be analysed) appears to be possible in the most various and divergent ways. Every divergence in analysis would give rise to another formation of the written name; just as in modern times (as already noted, even in the region of sense) muriatic acid has undergone several changes of name. A hieroglyphic written language would require a philosophy as stationary as is the civilization of the Chinese.

What has been said shows the inestimable and not sufficiently appreciated educational value of learning to read and write an alphabetic character. It leads the mind from the sensibly concrete image to attend to the more formal structure of the vocal word and its abstract elements, and contributes much to give stability and independence to the inward realm of mental life. Acquired habit subsequently effaces the peculiarity by which alphabetic writing appears, in the interest of vision, as a roundabout way to ideas by means of audibility; it makes them a sort of hieroglyphic to us, so that in using them we need not consciously realize them by means of tones, whereas people unpractised in reading utter aloud what they read in order to catch its meaning in the sound. Thus, while (with the faculty which transformed alphabetic writing into hieroglyphics) the capacity of abstraction gained by the first practice remains, hieroglyphic reading is of itself a deaf reading and a dumb writing. It is true that the audible (which is in time) and the visible (which is in space), each have their own basis, one no less authoritative than the other. But in the case of alphabetic writing there is only a single basis: the two aspects occupy their rightful relation to each other: the visible language is related to the vocal only as a sign, and intelligence expresses itself immediately and unconditionally by speaking. - The instrumental function of the comparatively non-sensuous element of tone for all ideational work shows itself further as peculiarly important in memory which forms the passage from representation to thought.


The name, combining the intuition (an intellectual production) with its signification, is primarily a single transient product; and conjunction of the idea (which is inward) with the intuition (which is outward) is itself outward. The reduction of this outwardness to inwardness is (verbal) Memory.

(cc) Memory


Under the shape of memory the course of intelligence passes through the same inwardizing (recollecting) functions, as regards the intuition of the word, as representation in general does in dealing with the first immediate intuition (§ 45l). (1) Making its own the synthesis achieved in the sign, intelligence, by this inwardizing (memorizing) elevates the single synthesis to a universal, i.e. permanent, synthesis, in which name and meaning are for it objectively united, and renders the intuition (which the name originally is) a representation. Thus the import (connotation) and sign, being identified, form one representation: the representation in its inwardness is rendered concrete and gets existence for its import: all this being the work of memory which retains names (retentive Memory).


The name is thus the thing so far as it exists and counts in the ideational realm. (2) In the name, Reproductive memory has and recognizes the thing, and with the thing it has the name, apart from intuition and image. The name, as giving an existence to the content in intelligence, is the externality of intelligence to itself; and the inwardizing or recollection of the name, i.e. of an intuition of intellectual origin, is at the same time a self-externalization to which intelligence reduces itself on its own ground. The association of the particular names lies in the meaning of the features sensitive, representative, or cogitant - series of which the intelligence traverses as it feels, represents, or thinks.

Given the name lion, we need neither the actual vision of the animal, nor its image even: the name alone, if we understand it, is the unimaged simple representation. We think in names.

The recent attempts - already, as they deserved, forgotten - to rehabilitate the Mnemonic of the ancients, consist in transforming names into images, and thus again deposing memory to the level of imagination. The place of the power of memory is taken by a permanent tableau of a series of images, fixed in the imagination, to which is then attached the series of ideas forming the composition to be learned by rote. Considering the heterogeneity between the import of these ideas and those permanent images, and the speed with which the attachment has to be made, the attachment cannot be made otherwise than by shallow, silly, and utterly accidental links. Not merely is the mind put to the torture of being worried by idiotic stuff, but what is thus learnt by rote is just as quickly forgotten, seeing that the same tableau is used for getting by rote every other series of ideas, and so those previously attached to it are effaced. What is mnemonically impressed is not like what is retained in memory really got by heart, i.e. strictly produced from within outwards, from the deep pit of the ego, and thus recited, but is, so to speak, read off the tableau of fancy. - Mnemonic is connected with the common prepossession about memory, in comparison with fancy and imagination; as if the latter were a higher and more intellectual activity than memory. On the contrary, memory has ceased to deal with an image derived from intuition - the immediate and incomplete mode of intelligence; it has rather to do with an object which is the product of intelligence itself - such a without-book as remains locked up in the within-book of intelligence, and is, within intelligence, only its outward and existing side.


  1. As the interconnection of the names lies in the meaning, the conjunction of their meaning with the reality as names is still an (external) synthesis; and intelligence in this its externality has not made a complete and simple return into self. But intelligence is the universal - the single plain truth of its particular self-divestments; and its consummated appropriation of them abolishes that distinction between meaning and name. This supreme inwardizing of representation is the supreme self-divestment of intelligence, in which it renders itself the mere being, the universal space of names as such, i.e. of meaningless words. The ego, which is this abstract being, is, because subjectivity, at the same time the power over the different names - the link which, having nothing in itself, fixes in itself series of them and keeps them in stable order. So far as they merely are, and intelligence is here itself this being of theirs, its power is a merely abstract subjectivity - memory; which, on account of the complete externality in which the members of such series stand to one another, and because it is itself this externality (subjective though that be), is called mechanical (§ 195).

A composition is, as we know, not thoroughly conned by rote, until one attaches no meaning to the words. The recitation of what has been thus got by heart is therefore of course accentless. The correct accent, if it is introduced, suggests the meaning: but this introduction of the signification of an idea disturbs the mechanical nexus and therefore easily throws out the reciter. The faculty of conning by rote series of words, with no principle governing their succession, or which are separately meaningless, for example, a series of proper names, is .so supremely marvellous, because it is t e very essence of mind to have its wits about it; whereas in this case the mind is estranged in itself, and its action is like machinery. But it is only as uniting subjectivity with objectivity that the mind has its wits about it. Whereas in the case before us, after it has in intuition been at first so external as to pick up its facts ready made, and in representation inwardizes or recollects this datum and makes it its own - it proceeds as memory to make itself external in itself, so that what is its own assumes the guise of something found. Thus one of the two dynamic factors of thought, viz. objectivity, is here put in intelligence itself as a quality of it. - It is only a step further to treat memory as mechanical - the act implying no intelligence - in which case it is only justified by its uses, its indispensability perhaps for other purposes and functions of mind. But by so doing we overlook the proper signification it has in the mind.


If it is to be the fact and true objectivity, the mere name as an existent requires something else - to be interpreted by the representing intellect. Now in the shape of mechanical memory, intelligence is at once that external objectivity and the meaning. In this way intelligence is explicitly made an existence of this identity, i.e. it is explicitly active as such an identity which as reason it is implicitly. Memory is in this manner the passage into the function of thought, which no longer has a meaning, i.e. its objectivity is no longer severed from the subjective, and its inwardness does not need to go outside for its existence.

The German language has etymologically assigned memory (Gedachtnis), of which it has become a foregone conclusion to speak contemptuously, the high position of direct kindred with thought (Gedanke). - It is not matter of chance that the young have a better memory than the old, nor is their memory solely exercised for the sake of utility. The young have a good memory because they have not yet reached the stage of reflection; their memory is exercised with or without design so as to level the ground of their inner life to pure being or to pure space in which the fact, the implicit content, may reign and unfold itself with no antithesis to a subjective inwardness. Genuine ability is in youth generally combined with a good memory. But empirical statements of this sort help little towards a knowledge of what memory intrinsically is. To comprehend the position and meaning of memory and to understand its organic interconnection with thought is one of the hardest points, and hitherto one quite unregarded in the theory of mind. Memory qua memory is itself the merely external mode, or merely existential aspect of thought, and thus needs a complementary element. The passage from it to thought is to our view or implicitly the identity of reason with this existential mode: an identity from which it follows that reason only exists in a subject, and as the function of that subject. Thus active reason is Thinking.

(c) Thinking


Intelligence is recognitive: it cognizes an intuition, but only because that intuition is already its own (§ 454); and in the name it rediscovers the fact (§ 462): but now it finds its universal in the double signification of the universal as such, and of the universal as immediate or as being - finds that is the genuine universal which is its own unity overlapping and including its other, viz. being. Thus intelligence is explicitly, and on its own part cognitive: virtually it is the universal - its product (the thought) is the thing: it is a plain identity of subjective and objective. It knows that what is thought, is, and that what is, only is in so far as it is a thought (§§ 5, 21); the thinking of intelligence is to have thoughts: these are as its content and object.


But cognition by thought is still in the first instance formal: the universality and its being is the plain subjectivity of intelligence. The thoughts therefore are not yet fully and freely determinate, and the representations which have been inwardized to thoughts are so far still the given content.


As dealing with this given content, thought is (a) understanding with its formal identity, working up the representations, that have been memorized, into species, genera, laws, forces, etc., in short into categories - thus indicating that the raw material does not get the truth of its being save in these thought-forms. As intrinsically infinite negativity, thought is (b) essentially an act of partition - judgement, which, however, does not break up the concept again into the old antithesis of universality and being, but distinguishes on the lines supplied by the interconnections peculiar to the concept. Thirdly (c), thought supersedes the formal distinction and institutes at the same time an identity of the differences - thus being nominal reason or inferential understanding. Intelligence, as the act of thought, cognizes. And (a) understanding out of its generalities (the categories) explains the individual, and is then said to comprehend or understand itself: (b) in the judgement it explains the individual to be a universal (species, genus). In these forms the content appears as given: (c) but in inference (syllogism) it characterizes a content from itself, by superseding that form-difference. With the perception of the necessity, the last immediacy still attaching to formal thought has vanished.

In Logic there was thought, but in its implicitness, and as reason develops itself in this distinction-lacking medium. So in consciousness thought occurs as a stage (§ 437 note). Here reason is as the truth of the antithetical distinction, as it had taken shape within the mind’s own limits. Thought thus recurs again and again in these different parts of philosophy, because these parts are different only through the medium they are in and the antitheses they imply; while thought is this one and the same centre, to which as to their truth the antitheses return.


Intelligence which as theoretical appropriates an immediate mode of being, is, now that it has completed taking possession, in its own property: the last negation of immediacy has implicitly required that the intelligence shall itself determine its content. Thus thought, as free notion, is now also free in point of content. But when intelligence is aware that it is determinative of the content, which is its mode no less than it is a mode of being, it is Will.



As will, the mind is aware that it is the author of its own conclusions, the origin of its self-fulfilment. Thus fulfilled, this independency or individuality forms the side of existence or of reality for the Idea of mind. As will, the mind steps into actuality; whereas as cognition it is on the soil of notional generality. Supplying its own content, the will is self-possessed, and in the widest sense free: this is its characteristic trait. Its finitude lies in the formalism that the spontaneity of its self-fulfilment means no more than a general and abstract ownness, not yet identified with matured reason. It is the function of the essential will to bring liberty to exist in the formal will, and it is therefore the aim of that formal will to fill itself with its essential nature, i.e. to make liberty its pervading character, content, and aim, as well as its sphere of existence. The essential freedom of will is, and must always be, a thought: hence the way by which will can make itself objective mind is to rise to be a thinking will - to give itself the content which it can only have as it thinks itself.

True liberty, in the shape of moral life, consists in the will finding its purpose in a universal content, not in subjective or selfish interests. But such a content is only possible in thought and through thought: it is nothing short of absurd to seek to banish thought from the moral, religious, and law-abiding life.

§470 Practical mind, considered at first as formal or immediate will, contains a double ought - (1) in the contrast which the new mode of being projected outward by the will offers to the immediate positivity of its old existence and condition - an antagonism which in consciousness grows to correlation with external objects. (2) That first self-determination, being itself immediate, is not at once elevated into a thinking universality: the latter, therefore, virtually constitutes an obligation on the former in point of form, as it may also constitute it in point of matter; - a distinction which only exists for the observer.

(a) Practical Sense or Feeling

§471 The autonomy of the practical mind at first is immediate and therefore formal, i.e. it finds itself as an individuality determined in its inward nature. It is thus ‘practical feeling’, or instinct of action. In this phase, as it is at bottom a subjectivity simply identical with reason, it has no doubt a rational content, but a content which as it stands is individual, and for that reason also natural, contingent and subjective - a content which may be determined quite as much by mere personalities of want and opinion, etc., and by the subjectivity which selfishly sets itself against the universal, as it may be virtually in conformity with reason.

An appeal is sometimes made to the sense (feeling) of right and morality, as well as of religion, which man is alleged to possess - to his benevolent dispositions - and even to his heart generally - i.e. to the subject so far as the various practical feelings are in it all combined. So far as this appeal implies (1) that these ideas are immanent in his own self, and (2) that when feeling is opposed to the logical understanding, it, and not the partial abstractions of the latter, may be the totality - the appeal has a legitimate meaning. But on the other hand, feeling too may be one-sided, unessential, and bad. The rational, which exists in the shape of rationality when it is apprehended by thought, is the same content as the good practical feeling has, but presented in its universality and necessity, in its objectivity and truth.

Thus it is, on the one hand, silly to suppose that in the passage from feeling to law and duty there is any loss of import and excellence; it is this passage which lets feeling first reach its truth. It is equally silly to consider intellect as superfluous or even harmful to feeling, heart, and will; the truth and, what is the same thing, the actual rationality of the heart and will can only be at home in the universality of intellect, and not in the singleness of feeling as feeling. If feelings are of the right sort, it is because of their quality or content - which is right only so far as it is intrinsically universal or has its source in the thinking mind. The difficulty for the logical intellect consists in throwing off the separation it has arbitrarily imposed between the several faculties of feeling and thinking mind, and coming to see that in the human being there is only one reason, in feeling, volition, and thought. Another difficulty connected with this is found in the fact that the Ideas which are the special property of the thinking mind, namely God, law and morality, can also be felt. But feeling is only the form of the immediate and peculiar individuality of the subject, in which these facts, like any other objective facts (which consciousness also sets over against itself), may be placed.

On the other hand, it is suspicious or even worse to cling to feeling and heart in place of the intelligent rationality of law, right, and duty; because all that the former holds more than the latter is only the particular subjectivity with its vanity and caprice. For the same reason it is out of place in a scientific treatment of the feelings to deal with anything beyond their form, and to discuss their content; for the latter, when thought, is precisely what constitutes, in their universality and necessity, the rights and duties which are the true works of mental autonomy. So long as we study practical feelings and dispositions specially, we have only to deal with the selfish, bad, and evil; it is these alone which belong to the individuality which retains its opposition to the universal: their content is the reverse of rights and duties, and precisely in that way do they - but only in antithesis to the latter - retain a speciality of their own.


The ‘Ought’ of practical feeling is the claim of its essential autonomy to control some existing mode of fact - which is assumed to be worth nothing save as adapted to that claim. But as both, in their immediacy, lack objective determination, this relation of the requirement to existent fact is the utterly subjective and superficial feeling of pleasant or unpleasant.

Delight, joy, grief, etc., shame, repentance, contentment, etc., are partly only modifications of the formal ‘practical feeling’ in general, but are partly different in the features that give the special tone and character mode to their ‘Ought’.

The celebrated question as to the origin of evil in the world, so far at least as evil is understood to mean what is disagreeable and painful merely, arises on this stage of the formal practical feeling. Evil is nothing but the incompatibility between what is and what ought to be. ‘Ought’ is an ambiguous term - indeed infinitely so, considering that casual aims may also come under the form of Ought. But where the objects sought are thus casual, evil only executes what is rightfully due to the vanity and nullity of their planning: for they themselves were radically evil. The finitude of life and mind is seen in their judgement: the contrary which is separated from them they also have as a negative in them, and thus they are the contradiction called evil. In the lifeless there is neither evil nor pain: for in inorganic nature the intelligible unity (concept) does not confront its existence and does not in the difference at the same time remain its permanent subject. Whereas in life, and still more in mind, we have this immanent distinction present: hence arises the Ought: and this negativity, subjectivity, ego, freedom are the principles of evil and pain. Jacob Bohme viewed egoity (selfhood) as pain and torment, and as the fountain of nature and of spirit.

(b) The Impulses and Choice


The practical ought is a ‘real’ judgement. Will, which is essentially self-determination, finds in the conformity - as immediate and merely found to hand - of the existing mode to its requirement a negation, and something inappropriate to it. If the will is to satisfy itself, if the implicit unity of the universality and the special mode is to be realized, the conformity of its inner requirement and of the existent thing ought to be its act and institution. The will, as regards the form of its content, is at first still a natural will, directly identical with its specific mode: - natural impulse and inclination. Should, however, the totality of the practical spirit throw itself into a single one of the many restricted forms of impulse, each being always in conflict to another, it is passion.


Inclinations and passions embody the same constituent features as the practical feeling. Thus, while, on one hand, they are based on the rational nature of the mind; they, on the other, as part and parcel of the still subjective and single will, are infected with contingency, and appear as particular to stand to the individual and to each other in an external relation and with a necessity which creates bondage.

The special note in passion is its restriction to one special mode of volition, in which the whole subjectivity of the individual is merged, be the value of that mode what it may. In consequence of this formalism, passion is neither good nor bad; the title only states that a subject has thrown his whole soul - his interests of intellect, talent, character, enjoyment - on one aim and object. Nothing great has been and nothing great can be accomplished without passion. It is only a dead, too often, indeed, a hypocritical moralizing which inveighs against the form of passion as such.

But with regard to the inclinations, the question is directly raised, Which are good and bad? - Up to what degree the good continue good; - and (as there are many, each with its private range). In what way have they, being all in one subject and hardly all, as experience shows, admitting of gratification, to suffer at least reciprocal restriction? And, first of all, as regards the numbers of these impulses and propensities, the case is much the same as with the psychical powers, whose aggregate is to form the mind theoretical - an aggregate which is now increased by the host of impulses. The nominal rationality of impulse and propensity lies merely in their general impulse not to be subjective merely, but to get realized, overcoming the subjectivity by the subject’s own agency. Their genuine rationality cannot reveal its secret to a method of outer reflection which pre-supposes a number of independent innate tendencies and immediate instincts, and therefore is wanting in a single principle and final purpose for them. But the immanent ‘reflection’ of mind itself carries it beyond their particularity and their natural immediacy, and gives their contents a rationality and objectivity, in which they exist as necessary ties of social relation, as rights and duties. It is this objectification which evinces their real value, their mutual connections, and their truth. And thus it was a true perception when Plato (especially including as he did the mind’s whole nature under its right) showed that the full reality of justice could be exhibited only in the objective phase of justice, namely in the construction of the State as the ethical life.

The answer to the question, therefore, What are the good and rational propensities, and how they are to be coordinated with each other? resolves itself into an exposition of the laws and forms of common life produced by the mind when developing itself as objective mind - a development in which the content of autonomous action loses its contingency and optionality. The discussion of the true intrinsic worth of the impulses, inclinations, and passions is thus essentially the theory of legal, moral, and social duties.


The subject is the act of satisfying impulses, an act of (at least) formal rationality, as it translates them from the subjectivity of content (which so far is purpose) into objectivity, where the subject is made to close with itself. If the content of the impulse is distinguished as the thing or business from this act of carrying it out, and we regard the thing which has been brought to pass as containing the element of subjective individuality and its action, this is what is called the interest. Nothing therefore is brought about without interest.

An action is an aim of the subject, and it is his agency too which executes this aim: unless the subject were in this way even in the most disinterested action, i.e. unless he had an interest in it, there would be no action at all. - The impulses and inclinations are sometimes depreciated by being contrasted with the baseless chimera of a happiness, the free gift of nature, where wants are supposed to find their satisfaction without the agent doing anything to produce a conformity between immediate existence and his own inner requirements. They are sometimes contrasted, on the whole to their disadvantage, with the morality of duty for duty’s sake. But impulse and passion are the very life-blood of all action: they are needed if the agent is really to be in his aim and the execution thereof. The morality concerns the content of the aim, which as such is the universal, an inactive thing, that finds its actualizing in the agent; and finds it only when the aim is immanent in the agent, is his interest and - should it claim to engross his whole efficient subjectivity - his passion.


The will, as thinking and implicitly free, distinguishes itself from the particularity of the impulses, and places itself as simple subjectivity of thought above their diversified content. It is thus ‘reflecting’ will.


Such a particularity of impulse has thus ceased to be a mere datum: the reflective will now sees it as its own, because it closes with it and thus gives itself specific individuality and actuality. It is now on the standpoint of choosing between inclinations, and is option or choice.


Will as choice claims to be free, reflected into itself as the negativity of its merely immediate autonomy. However, as the content, in which its former universality concludes itself to actuality, is nothing but the content of the impulses and appetites, it is actual only as a subjective and contingent will. It realizes itself in a particularity, which it regards at the same time as a nullity, and finds a satisfaction in what it has at the same time emerged from. As thus contradictory, it is the process of distraction and of suspending one desire or enjoyment by another - and one satisfaction, which is just as much no satisfaction, by another, without end. But the truth of the particular satisfactions is the universal, which under the name of happiness the thinking will makes its aim.

(c) Happiness


In this idea, which reflection and comparison have educed, of a universal satisfaction, the impulses, so far as their particularity goes, are reduced to a mere negative; and it is held that partly they are to be sacrificed to each other for the behoof of that aim, partly sacrificed to that aim directly, either altogether or in part. Their mutual limitation, on one hand, proceeds from a mixture of qualitative and quantitative considerations: on the other hand, as happiness has its sole affirmative contents in the springs of action, it is on them that the decision turns, and it is the subjective feeling and good pleasure which must have the casting vote as to where happiness is to be placed.


Happiness is the mere abstract and merely imagined universality of things desired - a universality which only ought to be. But the particularity of the satisfaction which just as much is as it is abolished, and the abstract singleness, the option which gives or does not give itself (as it pleases) an aim in happiness, find their truth in the intrinsic universality of the will, i.e. its very autonomy or freedom. In this way choice is will only as pure subjectivity, which is pure and concrete at once, by having for its contents and aim only that infinite mode of being - freedom itself. In this truth of its autonomy where concept and object are one, the will is an actually free will.



Actual free will is the unity of theoretical and practical mind: a free will, which realizes its own freedom of will, now that the formalism, fortuitousness, and contractedness of the practical content up to this point have been superseded. By superseding the adjustments of means therein contained, the will is the immediate individuality self-instituted - an individuality, however, also purified of all that interferes with its universalism, i.e. with freedom itself. This universalism the will has as its object and aim, only so far as it thinks itself, knows this its concept, and is will as free intelligence.


The mind which knows itself as free and wills itself as this its object, i.e. which has its true being for characteristic and aim, is in the first instance the rational will in general, or implicit Idea, and because implicit only the notion of absolute mind. As abstract Idea again, it is existent only in the immediate will - it is the existential side of reason - the single will as aware of this its universality constituting its contents and aim, and of which it is only the formal activity. If the will, therefore, in which the Idea thus appears is only finite, that will is also the act of developing the Idea, and of investing its self-unfolding content with an existence which, as realizing the idea, is actuality. It is thus ‘Objective’ Mind.

No Idea is so generally recognized as indefinite, ambiguous, and open to the greatest misconceptions (to which therefore it actually falls a victim) as the idea of Liberty: none in common currency with so little appreciation of its meaning. Remembering that free mind is actual mind, we can see how misconceptions about it are of tremendous consequence in practice. When individuals and nations have once got in their heads the abstract concept of full-blown liberty, there is nothing like it in its uncontrollable strength, just because it is the very essence of mind, and that as its very actuality. Whole continents, Africa and the East, have never had this Idea, and are without it still. The Greeks and Romans, Plato and Aristotle, even the Stoics, did not have it. On the contrary, they saw that it is only by birth (as, for example, an Athenian or Spartan citizen), or by strength of character, education, or philosophy (- the sage is free even as a slave and in chains) that the human being is actually free. It was through Christianity that this Idea came into the world. According to Christianity, the individual as such has an infinite value as the object and aim of divine love, destined as mind to live in absolute relationship with God himself, and have God’s mind dwelling in

him: i.e. man is implicitly destined to supreme freedom. If, in religion as such, man is aware of this relationship to the absolute mind as his true being, he has also, even when he steps into the sphere of secular existence, the divine mind present with him, as the substance of the state, of the family, etc. These institutions are due to the guidance of that spirit, and are constituted after its measure; whilst by their existence the moral temper comes to be indwelling in the individual, so that in this sphere of particular existence, of present sensation and volition, he is actually free.

If to be aware of the Idea - to be aware, that is, that men are aware of freedom as their essence, aim, and object - is matter of speculation, still this very Idea itself is the actuality of men - not something which they have, as men, but which they are. Christianity in its adherents has realized an ever-present sense that they are not and cannot be slaves; if they are made slaves, if the decision as regards their property rests with an arbitrary will, not with laws or courts of justice, they would find the very substance of their life outraged. This will to liberty is no longer an impulse which demands its satisfaction, but the permanent character - the spiritual consciousness grown into a non-impulsive nature. But this freedom, which the content and aim of freedom has, is itself only a notion - a principle of the mind and heart, intended to develop into an objective phase, into legal, moral, religious, and not less into scientific actuality.


§483 The objective Mind is the absolute Idea, but only existing in posse: and as it is thus on the territory of finitude, its actual rationality retains the aspect of external apparency. The free will finds itself immediately confronted by differences which arise from the circumstance that freedom is its inward function and aim, and is in relation to an external and already subsisting objectivity, which splits up into different heads: viz. anthropological data (i.e. private and personal needs), external things of nature which exist for consciousness, and the ties of relation between individual wills which are conscious of their own diversity and particularity. These aspects constitute the external material for the embodiment of the will.

§484 But the purposive action of this will is to realize its concept, Liberty, in these externally objective aspects, making the latter a world moulded by the former, which in it is thus at home with itself, locked together with it: the concept accordingly perfected to the Idea. Liberty, shaped into the actuality of a world, receives the form of Necessity, the deeper substantial nexus of which is the system or organization of the principles of liberty, whilst its phenomenal nexus is power or authority, and the sentiment of obedience awakened in consciousness.

§485 This unity of the rational will with the single will (this being the peculiar and immediate medium in which the former is actualized) constitutes the simple actuality of liberty. As it (and its content) belongs to thought, and is the virtual universal, the content has its right and true character only in the form of universality. When invested with this character for the intelligent consciousness, or instituted as an authoritative power, it is a Law.(1) When, on the other hand, the content is freed from the mixedness and fortuitousness, attaching to it in the practical feeling and in impulse, and is set and grafted in the individual will, not in the form of impulse, but in its universality, so as to become its habit, temper, and character, it exists as manner and custom, or Usage.(2)

§486 This ‘reality’, in general, where free will has existence, is the Law (Right) - the term being taken in a comprehensive sense not merely as the limited juristic law, but as the actual body of all the conditions of freedom. These conditions, in relation to the subjective will, where they, being universal, ought to have and can only have their existence, are its Duties; whereas as its temper and habit they are Manners. What is a right is also a duty, and what is a duty, is also a right. For a mode of existence is a right, only as a consequence of the free substantial will: and the same content of fact, when referred to the will distinguished as subjective and individual, is a duty. It is the same content which the subjective consciousness recognizes as a duty, and brings into existence in these several wills. The finitude of the objective will thus creates the semblance of a distinction between rights and duties.

In the phenomenal range right and duty are correlata, at least in the sense that to a right on my part corresponds a duty in someone else. But, in the light of the concept, my right to a thing is not merely possession, but as possession by a person it is property, or legal possession, and it is a duty to possess things as property, i.e. to be as a person. Translated into the phenomenal relationship, viz. relation to another person - this grows into the duty of someone else to respect my right. In the morality of the conscience, duty in general is in me - a free subject - at the same time a right of my subjective will or disposition. But in this individualist moral sphere, there arises the division between what is only inward purpose (disposition or intention), which only has its being in me and is merely subjective duty, and the actualization of that purpose: and with this division a contingency and imperfection which makes the inadequacy of mere individualistic morality. In social ethics these two parts have reached their truth, their absolute unity; although even right and duty return to one another and combine by means of certain adjustments and under the guise of necessity. The rights of the father of the family over its members are equally duties towards them; just as the children’s duty of obedience is their right to be educated to the liberty of manhood. The penal judicature of a government, its rights of administration, etc., are no less its duties to punish, to administer, etc.; as the services of the members of the State in dues, military service, etc., are duties and yet their right to the protection of their private property and of the general substantial life in which they have their root. All the aims of society and the State are the private aims of the individuals. But the set of adjustments, by which their duties come back to them as the exercise and enjoyment of right, produces an appearance of diversity: and this diversity is increased by the variety of shapes which value assumes in the course of exchange, though it remains intrinsically the same. Still it holds fundamentally good that he who has no rights has no duties and vice versa.


§487 The free will is:

  1. Itself at first immediate, and hence as a single being - the person: the existence which the person gives to its liberty is property. The Right as Right (law) is formal, abstract right.

  2. When the will is reflected into self, so as to have its existence inside it, and to be thus at the same time characterized as a particular, it is the right of the subjective will, morality of the individual conscience.

  3. When the free will is the substantial will, made actual in the subject and conformable to its concept and rendered a totality of necessity - it is the ethics of actual life in family, civil society, and State.

  1. Gesetz

  2. Sitte




Mind, in the immediacy of its self-secured liberty, is an individual, but one that knows its individuality as an absolutely free will: it is a person, in whom the inward sense of this freedom, as in itself still abstract and empty, has its particularity and fulfilment not yet on its own part, but on an external thing. This thing, as something devoid of will, has no rights against the subjectivity of intelligence and volition, and is by that subjectivity made adjectival to it, the external sphere of its liberty - possession.

§489 By the judgement of possession, at first in the outward appropriation, the thing acquires the predicate of ‘mine’. But this predicate, on its own account merely ‘practical’, has here the signification that I import my personal will into the thing. As so characterized, possession is property, which as possession is a means, but as existence of the personality is an end.

§490 In his property the person is brought into union with himself. But the thing is an abstractly external thing, and the I in it is abstractly external. The concrete return of me into me in the externality is that I, the infinite self-relation, am as a person the repulsion of me from myself, and have the existence of my personality in the being of other persons, in my relation to them and in my recognition by them, which is thus mutual.

§491 The thing is the mean by which the extremes meet in one. These extremes are the persons who, in the knowledge of their identity as free, are simultaneously mutually independent. For them my will has its definite recognizable existence in the thing by the immediate bodily act of taking possession, or by the formation of the thing or, it may be, by mere designation of it.

§492 The casual aspect of property is that I place my will in this thing: so far my will is arbitrary, I can just as well put it in it as not - just as well withdraw it as not. But so far as my will lies in a thing, it is only I who can withdraw it: it is only with my will that the thing can pass to another, whose property it similarly becomes only with his will: - Contract.


§493 The two wills and their agreement in the contract are as an internal state of mind different from its realization in the performance. The comparatively ‘ideal’ utterance (of contract) in the stipulation contains the actual surrender of a property by the one, its changing hands, and its acceptance by the other will. The contract is thus thoroughly binding: it does not need the performance of the one or the other to become so - otherwise we should have an infinite regress or infinite division of thing, labour, and time. The utterance in the stipulation is complete and exhaustive. The inwardness of the will which surrenders and the will which accepts the property is in the realm of ideation, and in that realm the word is deed and thing (§ 462) - the full and complete deed, since here the conscientiousness of the will does not come under consideration (as to whether the thing is meant in earnest or is a deception), and the will refers only to the external thing.


Thus in the stipulation we have the substantial being of the contract standing out in distinction from its real utterance in the performance, which is brought down to a mere sequel. In this way there is put into the thing or performance a distinction between its immediate specific quality and its substantial being or value, meaning by value the quantitative terms into which that qualitative feature has been translated. One piece of property is thus made comparable with another, and may be made equivalent to a thing which is (in quality) wholly heterogeneous. It is thus treated in geneal as an abstract, universal thing or commodity.


The contract, as an agreement which has a voluntary origin and deals with a casual commodity, involves at the same time the giving to this ‘accidental’ will a positive fixity. This will may just as well not be conformable to law (right), and, in that case, produces a wrong: by which, however, the absolute law (right) is not superseded, but only a relationship originated of right to wrong.

(c) RIGHT versus WRONG


Law (right) considered as the realization of liberty in externals, breaks up into a multiplicity of relations to this external sphere and to other persons (§§ 491, 493 seqq.). In this way there are (1) several titles or grounds at law, of which (seeing that property both on the personal and the real side is exclusively individual) only one is the right, but which, because they face each other, each and all are invested with a show of right, against which the former is defined as the intrinsically right.


Now so long as (compared against this show) the one intrinsically right, still presumed identical with the several titles, is affirmed, willed, and recognized, the only diversity lies in this, that the special thing is subsumed under the one law or right by the particular will of these several persons. This is naive, non-malicious wrong. Such wrong in the several claimants is a simple negative judgement, expressing the civil suit. To settle it there is required a third judgement, which, as the judgement of the intrinsically right, is disinterested, and a power of giving the one right existence as against that semblance.


But (2) if the semblance of right as such is willed against the right intrinsically by the particular will, which thus becomes wicked, then the external recognition of right is separated from the right’s true value; and while the former only is respected, the latter is violated. This gives the wrong of fraud - the infinite judgement as identical (§173) - where the nominal relation is retained, but the sterling value is let slip.


  1. Finally, the particular will sets itself in opposition to the intrinsic right by negating that right itself as well as its recognition or semblance. (Here there is a negatively infinite judgement (§ 173) in which there is denied the class as a whole, and not merely the particular mode - in this case the apparent recognition.) Thus the will is violently wicked, and commits a crime.


As an outrage on right, such an action is essentially and actually null. In it the agent, as a volitional and intelligent being, sets up a law - a law, however, which is nominal and recognized by him only - a universal which holds good for him, and under which he has at the same time subsumed himself by his action. To display the nullity of such an act, to carry out simultaneously this nominal law and the intrinsic right, in the first instance by means of a subjective individual will, is the work of Revenge. But revenge, starting from the interest of an immediate particular personality, is at the same time only a new outrage; and so on without end. This progression, like the last, abolishes itself in a third judgement, which is disinterested - punishment.


The instrumentality by which authority is given to intrinsic right is () that a particular will, that of the judge, being conformable to the right, has an interest to turn against the crime (which in the first instance, in revenge, is a matter of chance), and () that an executive power (also in the first instance casual) negates the negation of right that was created by the criminal. This negation of right has its existence in the will of the criminal; and consequently revenge or punishment directs itself against the person or property of the criminal and exercises coercion upon him. It is in this legal sphere that coercion in general has possible scope - compulsion against the thing, in seizing and maintaining it against another’s seizure: for in this sphere the will has its existence immediately in externals as such, or in corporeity, and can be seized only in this quarter. But more than possible compulsion is not, so long as I can withdraw myself as free from every mode of existence, even from the range of all existence, i.e. from life. It is legal only as abolishing a first and original compulsion.


A distinction has thus emerged between the law (right) and the subjective will. The ‘reality’ of right, which the personal will in the first instance gives itself in immediate wise, is seen to be due to the instrumentality of the subjective will - whose influence as on one hand it gives existence to the essential right, so may on the other cut itself off from and oppose itself to it. Conversely, the claim of the subjective will to be in this abstraction a power over the law of right is null and empty of itself: it gets truth and reality essentially only so far as that will in itself realises the reasonable will. As such it is morality proper.

The phrase ‘Law of Nature’, or Natural Right,(3) in use for the philosophy of law involves the ambiguity that it may mean either right as something existing ready-formed in nature, or right as governed by the nature of things, i.e. by the notion. The former used to be the common meaning, accompanied with the fiction of a state of nature, in which the law of nature should hold sway; whereas the social and political state rather required and implied a restriction of liberty and a sacrifice of natural rights. The real fact is that the whole law and its every article are based on free personality alone - on self-determination or autonomy, which is the very contrary of determination by nature. The law of nature - strictly so called - is for that reason the predominance of the strong and the reign of force, and a state of nature a state of violence and wrong, of which nothing truer can be said than that one ought to depart from it. The social state, on the other hand, is the condition in which alone right has its actuality: what is to be restricted and sacrificed is just the wilfulness and violence of the state of nature.



The free individual, who, in mere law, counts only as a person, is now characterized as a subject - a will reflected into itself so that, be its affection what it may, it is distinguished (as existing in it) as its own from the existence of freedom in an external thing. Because the affection of the will is thus inwardized, the will is at the same time made a particular, and there arise further particularizations of it and relations of these to one another. This affection is partly the essential and implicit will, the reason of the will, the essential basis of law and moral life: partly it is the existent volition, which is before us and throws itself into actual deeds, and thus comes into relationship with the former. The subjective will is morally free, so far as these features are its inward institution, its own, and willed by it. Its utterance in deed with this freedom is an action, in the externality of which it only admits as its own, and allows to be imputed to it, so much as it has consciously willed.

This subjective or ‘moral’ freedom is what a European especially calls freedom. In virtue of the right thereto a man must possess a personal knowledge of the distinction between good and evil in general: ethical and religious principles shall not merely lay their claim on him as external laws and precepts of authority to be obeyed, but have their assent, recognition, or even justification in his heart, sentiment, conscience, intelligence, etc. The subjectivity of the will in itself is its supreme aim and absolutely essential to it.

The ‘moral’ must be taken in the wider sense in which it does not signify the morally good merely. In French le moral is opposed to le physique, and means the mental or intellectual in general. But here the moral signifies volitional mode, so far as it is in the interior of the will in general; it thus includes purpose and intention - and also moral wickedness.



So far as the action comes into immediate touch with existence, my part in it is to this extent formal, that external existence is also independent of the agent. This externally can pervert his action and bring to light something else than lay in it. Now, though any alteration as such, which is set on foot by the subjects’ action, is its deed,(3) still the subject does not for that reason recognize it as its action,(4) but only adrnits as its own that existence in the deed which lay in its knowledge and will, which was its purpose. Only for that does it hold itself responsible.



As regards its empirically concrete content (1) the action has a variety of particular aspects and connections. In point of form, the agent must have known and willed the action in its essential feature, embracing these individual points. This is the right of intention. While purpose affects only the immediate fact of existence, intention regards the underlying essence and aim thereof. (2) The agent has no less the right to see that the particularity of content in the action, in point of its matter, is not something external to him, but is a particularity of his own - that it contains his needs, interests, and aims. These aims, when similarly comprehended in a single aim, as in happiness (§ 479), constitute his well-being. This is the right to well-being. Happiness (good fortune) is distinguished from well- being only in this, that happiness implies no more than some sort of immediate existence, whereas well-being is regarded as having a moral justification.


But the essentiality of the intention is in the first instance the abstract form of generality. Reflection can put in this form this and that particular aspect in the empirically concrete action, thus making it essential to the intention or restricting the intention to it. In this way the supposed essentiality of the intention and the real essentiality of the action may be brought into the greatest contradiction - e.g. a good intention in case of a crime. Similarly well-being is abstract and may be placed in this or that: as appertaining to this single agent, it is always something particular.



The truth of these particularities and the concrete unity of their formalism is the content of the universal, essential and actual, will - the law and underlying essence of every phase of volition, the essential and actual good. It is thus the absolute final aim of the world, and duty for the agent who ought to have insight into the good, make it his intention and bring it about by his activity.


But though the good is the universal of will - a universal determined in itself - and thus including in it particularity - still so far as this particularity is in the first instance still abstract, there is no principle at hand to determine it. Such determination therefore starts up also outside that universal; and as heteronomy or determinance of a will which is free and has rights of its own, there awakes here the deepest contradiction. (a) In consequence of the indeterminate determinism of the good, there are always several sorts of good and many kinds of duties, the variety of which is a dialectic of one against another and brings them into collision. At the same time because good is one, they ought to stand in harmony; and yet each of them, though it is a particular duty, is as good and as duty absolute. It falls upon the agent to be the dialectic which, superseding this absolute claim of each, concludes such a combination of them as excludes the rest.


(b)To the agent, who in his existent sphere of liberty is essentially as a particular, his interest and welfare must, on account of that existent sphere of liberty, be essentially an aim and therefore a duty. But at the same time in aiming at the good, which is the not-particular but only universal of the will, the particular interest ought not to be a constituent motive. On account of this independency of the two principles of action, it is likewise an accident whether they harmonize. And yet they ought to harmonize, because the agent, as individual and universal, is always fundamentally one identity.

  1. But the agent is not only a mere particular in his existence; it is also a form of his existence to be an abstract self-certainty, an abstract reflection of freedom into himself. He is thus distinct from the reason in the will, and capable of making the universal itself a particular and in that way a semblance. The good is thus reduced to the level of a mere ‘may happen’ for the agent, who can therefore decide on something opposite to the good, can be wicked.


  1. The external objectivity, following the distinction which has arisen in the subjective will (§ 503), constitutes a peculiar world of its own


The all-round contradiction, expressed by this repeated ought, with its absoluteness which yet at the same time is not - contains the most abstract ‘analysis’ of the mind in itself, its deepest descent into itself. The only relation the self-contradictory principles have to one another is in the abstract certainty of self; and for this infinitude of subjectivity the universal will, good, right, and duty, no more exist than not. The subjectivity alone is aware of itself as choosing and deciding. This pure self-certitude, rising to its pitch, appears in the two directly inter-changing forrns - of Conscience and Wickedness. The former is the will of goodness; but a goodness which to this pure subjectivity is the non-objective, non-universal, the unutterable; and over which the agent is conscious that he in his individuality has the decision. Wickedness is the same awareness that the single self possesses the decision, so far as the single self does not merely remain in this abstraction, but takes up the content of a subjective interest contrary to the good.


This supreme pitch of the ‘phenomenon’ of will - sublimating itself to this absolute vanity - to a goodness, which has no objectivity, but is only sure of itself, and a self-assurance which involves the nullification of the universal-collapses by its own force. Wickedness, as the most intimate reflection of subjectivity itself, in opposition to the objective and universal (which it treats as mere sham) is the same as the good sentiment of abstract goodness, which reserves to the subjectivity the determination thereof: - the utterly abstract semblance, the bare perversion and annihilation of itself. The result, the truth of this semblance, is, on its negative side, the absolute nullity of this volition which would fain hold its own against the good, and of the good, which would only be abstract.

On the affirmative side, in the notion, this semblance thus collapsing is the same simple universality of the will, which is the good. The subjectivity, in this its identity with the good, is only the infinite form, which actualizes and develops it. In this way the standpoint of bare reciprocity between two independent sides - the standpoint of the ought, is abandoned, and we have passed into the field of ethical life.



The moral life is the perfection of spirit objective - the truth of the subjective and objective spirit itself. The failure of the latter consists - partly in having its freedom immediately in reality, in something external therefore, in a thing - partly in the abstract universality of its goodness. The failure of spirit subjective similarly consists in this, that it is, as against the universal, abstractly self-determinant in its inward individuality. When these two imperfections are suppressed, subjective freedom exists as the covertly and overtly universal rational will, which is sensible of itself and actively disposed in the consciousness of the individual subject, whilst its practical operation and immediate universal actuality at the same time exist as moral usage, manner and custom - where self-conscious liberty has become nature.


The consciously free substance, in which the absolute ‘ought’ is no less an ‘is’, has actuality as the spirit of a nation. The abstract disruption of this spirit singles it out into persons, whose independence it, however, controls and entirely dominates from within. But the person, as an intelligent being, feels that underlying essence to be his own very being - ceases when so minded to be a mere accident of it - looks upon it as his absolute final aim. In its actuality he sees not less an achieved present, than somewhat he brings about by his action - yet somewhat which without all question is. Thus, without any selective reflection, the person performs his duty as his own and as something which is; and in this necessity he has himself and his actual freedom.


Because the substance is the absolute unity of individuality and universality of freedom, it follows that the actuality and action of each individual to keep and to take care of his own being, while it is on one hand conditioned by the pre-supposed total in whose complex alone he exists, is on the other a transition into a universal product. - The social disposition of the individuals is their sense of the substance, and of the identity of all their interests with the total; and that the other individuals mutually know each other and are actual only in this identity, is confidence (trust) - the genuine ethical temper.


The relations between individuals in the several situations to which the substance is particularized form their ethical duties. The ethical personality, i.e. the subjectivity which is permeated by the substantial life, is virtue. In relation to the bare facts of external being, to destiny, virtue does not treat them as a mere negation, and is thus a quiet repose in itself: in relation to substantial objectivity, to the total of ethical actuality, it exists as confidence, as deliberate work for the community, and the capacity of sacrificing self thereto; whilst in relation to the incidental relations of social circumstance, it is in the first instance justice and then benevolence. In the latter sphere, and in its attitude to its own visible being and corporeity, the individuality expresses its special character, temperament, etc. as personal virtues.


The ethical substance is: (a) as ‘immediate’ or natural mind - the Family. (b) The ‘relative’ totality of the ‘relative’ relations of the individuals as independent persons to one another in a formal universality - Civil Society. (c) The self-conscious substance, as the mind developed to an organic actuality - the Political Constitution.



The ethical spirit, in its immediacy, contains the natural factor that the individual has its substantial existence in its natural universal, i.e. in its kind. This is the sexual tie, elevated, however, to a spiritual significance, - the unanimity of love and the temper of trust. In the shape of the family, mind appears as feeling.


  1. The physical difference of sex thus appears at the same time as a difference of intellectual and moral type. With their exclusive individualities these personalities combine to form a single person: the subjective union of hearts, becoming a ‘substantial’ unity, makes this union an ethical tie - Marriage. The ‘substantial’ union of hearts makes marriage an indivisible personal bond - monogamic marriage: the bodily conjunction is a sequel to the moral attachment. A further sequel is community of personal and private interests.


  1. By the community in which the various members constituting the family stand in reference to property, that property of the one person (representing the family) acquires an ethical interest, as do also its industry, labour, and care for the future.


The ethical principle which is conjoined with the natural generation of the children, and which was assumed to have primary importance in first forming the marriage union, is actually realized in the second or spiritual birth of the children - in educating them to independent personality.


  1. The children, thus invested with independence, leave the concrete life and action of the family to which they primarily belong, acquire an existence of their own, destined, however, to found anew such an actual family. Marriage is of course broken up by the natural element contained in it, the death of husband and wife: but even their union of hearts, as it is a mere ‘substantiality’ of feeling, contains the germ of liability to chance and decay. In virtue of such fortuitousness, the members of the family take up to each other the status of persons; and it is thus that the family finds introduced into it for the first time the element, originally foreign to it, of legal regulation.



As the substance, being an intelligent substance, particularizes itself abstractly into many persons (the family is only a single person), into families or individuals, who exist independent and free, as private persons, it loses its ethical character: for these persons as such have in their consciousness and as their aim not the absolute unity, but their own petty selves and particular interests. Thus arises the system of atomistic: by which the substance is reduced to a general system of adjustments to connect self-subsisting extremes and their particular interests. The developed totality of this connective system is the state as civil society, or state external.

(a) The System of Wants

§524 (a) The particularity of the persons includes in the first instance their wants. The possibility of satisfying these wants is here laid on the social fabric, the general stock from which all derive their satisfaction. In the condition of things in which this method of satisfaction by indirect adjustment is realized, immediate seizure (§ 488) of external objects as means thereto exists barely or not at all: the objects are already property. To acquire them is only possible by the intervention, on one hand, of the possessor’s will, which as particular has in view the satisfaction of their variously defined interests; while, on the other hand, it is conditioned by the ever-continued production of fresh means of exchange by the exchangers’ own labour. This instrument, by which the labour of all facilitates satisfaction of wants, constitutes the general stock.


  1. The glimmer of universal principle in this particularity of wants is found in the way intellect creates differences in them, and thus causes an indefinite multiplication both of wants and of means for their different phases. Both are thus rendered more and more abstract. This ‘morcellement’ of their content by abstraction gives rise to the division of labour. The habit of this abstraction in enjoyment, information, learning, and demeanour constitutes training in this sphere, or nominal culture in general.


The labour which thus becomes more abstract tends on one hand by its uniformity to make labour easier and to increase production - on another to limit each person to a single kind of technical skill, and thus produce more unconditional dependence on the social system.. The skill itself becomes in this way mechanical, and gets the capability of letting the machine take the place of human labour.


  1. But the concrete division of the general stock - which is also a general business (of the whole society) - into particular masses determined by the factors of the notion - masses each of which possesses its own basis of subsistence, and a corresponding mode of labour, of needs, and of means for satisfying them, also of aims and interests, as well as of mental culture and habit - constitutes the difference of Estates (orders or ranks). Individuals apportion themselves to these according to natural talent, skill, option, and accident. As belonging to such a definite and stable sphere, they have their actual existence, which as existence is essentially a particular; and in it they have their social morality, which is honesty, their recognition and their honour.

Where civil society, and with it the State, exists, there arise the several estates in their difference: for the universal substance, as vital, exists only so far as it organically particularizes itself. The history of constitutions is the history of the growth of these estates, of the legal relationships of individuals to them, and of these estates to one another and to their centre.

§528 To the ‘substantial’, natural estate the fruitful soil and ground supply a natural and stable capital; its action gets direction and content through natural features, and its moral life is founded on faith and trust. The second, the ‘reflected’ estate has as its allotment the social capital, the medium created by the action of middlemen, of mere agents, and an ensemble of contingencies, where the individual has to depend on his subjective skill, talent, intelligence, and industry. The third, ‘thinking’ estate has for its business the general interests; like the second it has a subsistence procured by means of its own skill, and like the first a certain subsistence, certain, however, because guaranteed through the whole society.

(b) Administration of Justice


When matured through the operation of natural need and free option into a system of universal relationships and a regular course of external necessity, the principle of casual particularity gets that stable articulation which liberty requires in the shape of formal right. (1) The actualization which right gets in this sphere of mere practical intelligence is that it be brought to consciousness as the stable universal, that it be known and stated in its specificality with the voice of authority - the Law.(5)

The positive element in laws concerns only their form of publicity and authority - which makes it possible for them to be known by all in a customary and external way. Their content per se may be reasonable - or it may be unreasonable and so wrong. But when right, in the course of definite manifestation, is developed in detail, and its content analyses itself to gain definiteness, this analysis, because of the finitude of its materials, falls into the falsely infinite progress: the final definiteness, which is absolutely essential and causes a break in this progress of unreality, can in this sphere of finitude be attained only in a way that savours of contingency and arbitrariness. Thus whether three years, ten thalers, or only 2 * , 2 3/4 , 2 4/5 years, and so on ad infinitum, be the right and just thing, can by no means be decided on intelligible principles - and yet it should be decided. Hence, though of course only at the final points of deciding, on the side of external existence, the ‘positive’ principle naturally enters law as contingency and arbitrariness. This happens and has from of old happened in all legislations: the only thing wanted is clearly to be aware of it, and not be misled by the talk and the pretense as if the ideal of law were, or could be, to be, at every point, determined through reason or legal intelligence, on purely reasonable and intelligent grounds. It is a futile perfectionism to have such expectations and to make such requirements in the sphere of the finite.

There are some who look upon laws as an evil and a profanity, and who regard governing and being governed from natural love, hereditary divinity or nobility, by faith and trust, as the genuine order of life, while the reign of law is held an order of corruption and injustice. These people forget that the stars - and the cattle too - are governed and well governed too by laws; - laws, however, which are only internally in these objects, not for them, not as laws set to them: - whereas it is man’s privilege to know his law. They forget therefore that he can truly obey only such known law - even as his law can only be a just law, as it is a known law; - though in other respects it must be in its essential content contingency and caprice, or at least be mixed and polluted with such elements.

The same empty requirement of perfection is employed for an opposite thesis - viz. to support the opinion that a code is impossible or impracticable. In this case there comes in the additional absurdity of putting essential and universal provision in one class with the particular detail. The finite material is definable on and on to the false infinite: but this advance is not, as in the mental images of space, a generation of new spatial characteristics of the same quality as those preceding them, but an advance into greater and ever greater speciality by the acumen of the analytic intellect, which discovers new distinctions, which again make new decisions necessary. To provisions of this sort one may give the name of new decisions or new laws; but in proportion to the gradual advance in specialization the interest and value of these provisions declines. They fall within the already subsisting ‘substantial’, general laws, like improvements on a floor or a door, within the house - which though something new, are not a new house. But there is a contrary case. If the legislation of a rude age began with single provisos, which go on by their very nature always increasing their number, there arises, with the advance in multitude, the need of a simpler code - the need, i.e. of embracing that lot of singulars in their general features. To find and be able to express these principles well beseems an intelligent and civilized nation. Such a gathering up of single rules into general forms, first really deserving the name of laws, has lately been begun in some directions by the English Minister Peel, who has by so doing gained the gratitude, even the admiration, of his countrymen.


  1. The positive form of Laws - to be promulgated and made known as laws

The legality of property and of private transactions concerned therewith - in consideration of the principle that all law must be promulgated, recognized, and thus become authoritative - gets its universal guarantee through formalities.


  1. Legal forms get the necessity, to which objective existence determines itself, in the judicial system. Abstract right has to exhibit itself to the court - to the individualized right - as proven: - a process in which there may be a difference between what is abstractly right and what is provably right. The court takes cognisance and action in the interest of right as such, deprives the existence of right of its contingency, and in particular transforms this existence - as this exists as revenge - into punishment (§ 500).

The comparison of the two species, or rather two elements in the judicial conviction, bearing on the actual state of the case in relation to the accused - (1) according as that conviction is based on mere circumstances and other people’s witness alone - or (2) in addition requires the confession of the accused, constitutes the main point in the question of the so-called jury-courts. It is an essential point that the two ingredients of a judicial cognisance, the judgement as to the state of the fact, and the judgement as application of the law to it, should, as at bottom different sides, be exercised as different functions. By the said institution they are allotted even to bodies differently qualified -f rom the one of which individuals belonging to the official judiciary are expressly excluded. To carry this separation of functions up to this separation in the courts rests rather on extra-essential considerations: the main point remains only the separate performance of these essentially different functions. - It is a more important point whether the confession of the accused is or is not to be made a condition of penal judgement. The institution of the jury-court loses sight of this condition. The point is that on this ground certainty is completely inseparable from truth: but the confession is to be regarded as the very acme of certainty-giving which in its nature is subjective. The final decision therefore lies with the confession. To this therefore the accused has an absolute right, if the proof is to be made final and the judges to be convinced. No doubt this factor is incomplete, because it is only one factor; but still more incomplete is the other when no less abstractly taken - viz. mere circumstantial evidence. The jurors are essentially judges and pronounce a judgement. In so far, then, as all they have to go on are such objective proofs, whilst at the same time their defect of certainty (incomplete in so far as it is only in them) is admitted, the jury-court shows traces of its barbaric origin in a confusion and admixture between objective proofs and subjective or so-called ‘moral’ conviction. - It is easy to call extraordinary punishments an absurdity; but the fault lies rather with the shallowness which takes offence at a mere name. Materially the principle involves the difference of objective probation according as it goes with or without the factor of absolute certification which lies in confession.


The function of judicial administration is only to actualize to necessity the abstract side of personal liberty in civil society. But this actualization rests at first on the particular subjectivity of the judge, since here as yet there is not found the necessary unity of it with right in the abstract. Conversely, the blind necessity of the system of wants is not lifted up into the consciousness of the universal, and worked from that point of view.

(c) Police and Corporation


Judicial administration naturally has no concern with such part of actions and interests as belongs only to particularity, and leaves to chance not only the occurrence of crimes but also the care for public weal. In civil society the sole end is to satisfy want - and that, because it is man’s want, in a uniform general way, so as to secure this satisfaction. But the machinery of social necessity leaves in many ways a casualness about this satisfaction. This is due to the variability of the wants themselves, in which opinion and subjective good-pleasure play a great part. It results also from circumstances of locality, from the connections between nation and nation, from errors and deceptions which can be foisted upon single members of the social circulation and are capable of creating disorder in it - as also and especially from the unequal capacity of individuals to take advantage of that general stock. The onward march of this necessity also sacrifices the very particularities by which it is brought about, and does not itself contain the affirmative aim of securing the satisfaction of individuals. So far as concerns them, it may be far from beneficial: yet here the individuals are the morally justifiable end.


To keep in view this general end, to ascertain the way in which the powers composing that social necessity act, and their variable ingredients, and to maintain that end in them and against them, is the work of an institution which assumes on one hand, to the concrete of civil society, the position of an external universality. Such an order acts with the power of an external state, which, in so far as it is rooted in the higher or substantial state, appears as state- ‘police’. On the other hand, in this sphere of particularity the only recognition of the aim of substantial universality and the only carrying of it out is restricted to the business of particular branches and interests. Thus we have the corporation, in which the particular citizen in his private capacity finds the securing of his stock, whilst at the same time he in it emerges from his single private interest, and has a conscious activity for a comparatively universal end, just as in his legal and professional duties he has his social morality.



The State is the self-conscious ethical substance, the unification of the family principle with that of civil society. The same unity, which is in the family as a feeling of love, is its essence, receiving, however, at the same time through the second principle of conscious and spontaneously active volition the form of conscious universality. This universal principle, with all its evolution in detail, is the absolute aim and content of the knowing subject, which thus identifies itself in its volition with the system of reasonableness.


The state is (a) its inward structure as a self-relating development - constitutional (inner-state) law: (b) a particular individual, and therefore in connection with other particular individuals - international (outer-state) law; (c) but these particular minds are only stages in the general development of mind in its actuality: universal history.

(a) Constitutional Law


The essence of the state is the universal, self-originated, and self-developed - the reasonable spirit of will; but, as self-knowing and self-actualizing, sheer subjectivity, and - as an actuality - one individual. Its work generally - in relation to the extreme of individuality as the multitude of individuals - consists in a double function. First it maintains them as persons, thus making right a necessary actuality, then it promotes their welfare, which each originally takes care of for himself, but which has a thoroughly general side; it protects the family and guides civil society. Secondly, it carries back both, and the whole disposition and action of the individual - whose tendency is to become a centre of his own - into the life of the universal substance; and, in this direction, as a free power it interferes with those subordinate spheres and maintains them in substantial immanence.


The laws express the special provisions for objective freedom. First, to the immediate agent, his independent self-will and particular interest, they are restrictions. But, secondly, they are an absolute final end and the universal work: hence they are a product of the ‘functions’ of the various orders which parcel themselves more and more out of the general particularizing, and are a fruit of all the acts and private concerns of individuals. Thirdly, they are the substance of the volition of individuals - which volition is thereby free - and of their disposition: being as such exhibited as current usage.


As a living mind, the state only is as an organized whole, differentiated into particular agencies, which, proceeding from the one notion (though not known as notion) of the reasonable will, continually produce it as their result. The constitution is this articulation or organization of state-power. It provides for the reasonable will - in so far as it is in the individuals only implicitly the universal will - coming to a consciousness and an understanding of itself and being found; also for that will being put in actuality, through the action of the government and its several branches, and not left to perish, but protected both against their casual subjectivity and against that of the individuals. The constitution is existent justice - the actuality of liberty in the development of all its reasonable provisions.

Liberty and Equality are the simple rubrics into which is frequently concentrated what should form the fundamental principle, the final aim and result of the constitution. However true this is, the defect of these terms is their utter abstractness: if stuck to in this abstract form, they are principles which either prevent the rise of the concreteness of the state, i.e. its articulation into a constitution and a government in general, or destroy them. With the state there arises inequality, the difference of governing powers and of governed, magistracies, authorities, directories, etc. The principle of equality, logically carried out, rejects all differences, and thus allows no sort of political condition to exist. Liberty and equality are indeed the foundation of the state, but as the most abstract also the most superficial, and for that very reason naturally the most familiar. It is important therefore to study them closer.

As regards, first, Equality, the familiar proposition, All men are by nature equal, blunders by confusing the ‘natural’ with the ‘notion’. It ought rather to read: By nature men are only unequal. But the notion of liberty, as it exists as such, without further specification and development, is abstract subjectivity, as a person capable of property (§ 488). This single abstract feature of personality constitutes the actual equality of human beings. But that this freedom should exist, that it should be man (and not as in Greece, Rome, etc. some men) that is recognized and legally regarded as a person, is so little by nature, that it is rather only a result and product of the consciousness of the deepest principle of mind, and of the universality and expansion of this consciousness. That the citizens are equal before the law contains a great truth, but which so expressed is a tautology: it only states that the legal status in general exists, that the laws rule. But, as regards the concrete, the citizens - besides their personality - are equal before the law only in these points when they are otherwise equal outside the law. Only that equality which (in whatever way it be) they, as it happens, otherwise have in property, age, physical strength, talent, skill, etc. - or even in crime, can and ought to make them deserve equal treatment before the law: - only it can make them - as regards taxation, military service, eligibility to office, etc.- punishment, etc. - equal in the concrete. The laws themselves, except in so far as they concern that narrow circle of personality, presuppose unequal conditions, and provide for the unequal legal duties and appurtenances resulting therefrom.

As regards Liberty, it is originally taken partly in a negative sense against arbitrary intolerance and lawless treatment, partly in the affirmative sense of subjective freedom; but this freedom is allowed great latitude both as regards the agent’s self-will and action for his particular ends, and as regards his claim to have a personal intelligence and a personal share in general affairs. Formerly the legally defined rights, private as well as public rights of a nation, town, etc. were called its ‘liberties’. Really, every genuine law is a liberty: it contains a reasonable principle of objective mind; in other words, it embodies a liberty. Nothing has become, on the contrary, more familiar than the idea that each must restrict his liberty in relation to the liberty of others: that the state is a condition of such reciprocal restriction, and that the laws are restrictions. To such habits of mind liberty is viewed as only casual good - pleasure and self-will. Hence it has also been said that ‘modern’ nations are only susceptible of equality, or of equality more than liberty: and that for no other reason than that, with an assumed definition of liberty (chiefly the participation of all in political affairs and actions), it was impossible to make ends meet in actuality - which is at once more reasonable and more powerful than abstract presuppositions. On the contrary, it should be said that it is just the great development and maturity of form in modern states which produces the supreme concrete inequality of individuals in actuality: while, through the deeper reasonableness of laws and the greater stability of the legal state, it gives rise to greater and more stable liberty, which it can without incompatibility allow. Even the superficial distinction of the words liberty and equality points to the fact that the former tends to inequality: whereas, on the contrary, the current notions of liberty only carry us back to equality. But the more we fortify liberty, - as security of property, as possibility for each to develop and make the best of his talents and good qualities, the more it gets taken for granted: and then the sense and appreciation of liberty especially turns in a subjective direction. By this is meant the liberty to attempt action on every side, and to throw oneself at pleasure in action for particular and for general intellectual interests, the removal of all checks on the individual particularity, as well as the inward liberty in which the subject has principles, has an insight and conviction of his own, and thus gains moral independence. But this liberty itself on one hand implies that supreme differentiation in which men are unequal and make themselves more unequal by education; and on another it only grows up under conditions of that objective liberty, and is and could grow to such height only in modern states. If, with this development of particularity, there be simultaneous and endless increase of the number of wants, and of the difficulty of satisfying them, of the lust of argument and the fancy of detecting faults, with its insatiate vanity, it is all but part of that indiscriminating relaxation of individuality in this sphere which generates all possible complications, and must deal with them as it can. Such a sphere is of course also the field of restrictions, because liberty is there under the taint of natural self-will and self-pleasing, and has therefore to restrict itself: and that, not merely with regard to the naturalness, self-will and self-conceit, of others, but especially and essentially with regard to reasonable liberty.

The term political liberty, however, is often used to mean formal participation in the public affairs of state by the will and action even of those individuals who otherwise find their chief function in the particular aims and business of civil society. And it has in part become usual to give the title constitution only to the side of the state which concerns such participation of these individuals in general affairs, and to regard a state, in which this is not formally done, as a state without a constitution. On this use of the term the only thing to remark is that by constitution must be understood the determination of rights, i.e. of liberties in general, and the organization of the actualization of them; and that political freedom in the above sense can in any case only constitute a part of it. Of it the following paragraphs will speak.


The guarantee of a constitution (i.e. the necessity that the laws be reasonable, and their actualization secured) lies in the collective spirit of the nation - especially in the specific way in which it is itself conscious of its reason. (Religion is that consciousness in its absolute substantiality.) But the guarantee lies also, at the same time in the actual organization or development of that principle in suitable institutions. The constitution presupposes that consciousness of the collective spirit, and conversely that spirit presupposes the constitution: for the actual spirit only has a definite consciousness of its principles, in so far as it has them actually existent before it.

The question - To whom (to what authority and how organized) belongs the power to make a constitution? is the same as the question, Who has to make the spirit of a nation? Separate our idea of a constitution from that of the collective spirit, as if the latter exists or has existed without a constitution, and your fancy only proves how superficially you have apprehended the nexus between the spirit in its self-consciousness and in its actuality. What is thus called ‘making’ a ‘constitution’, is - just because of this inseparability - a thing that has never happened in history, just as little as the making of a code of laws. A constitution only develops from the national spirit identically with that spirit’s own development, and runs through at the same time with it the grades of formation and the alterations required by its concept. It is the indwelling spirit and the history of the nation (and, be it added, the history is only that spirit’s history) by which constitutions have been and are made.


The really living totality - that which preserves, in other words continually produces the state in general and its constitution, is the government. The organization which natural necessity gives is seen in the rise of the family and of the ‘estates’ of civil society. The government is the universal part of the constitution, i.e. the part which intentionally aims at preserving those parts, but at the same time gets hold of and carries out those general aims of the whole which rise above the function, of the family and of civil society. The organization of the government is likewise its differentiation into powers, as their peculiarities have a basis in principle; yet without that difference losing touch with the actual unity they have in the notion’s subjectivity.

As the most obvious categories of the notion are those of universality and individuality, and their relationship that of subsumption of individual under universal, it has come about that in the state the legislative and executive power have been so distinguished as to make the former exist apart as the absolute superior, and to subdivide the latter again into administrative (government) power and judicial power, according as the laws are applied to public or private affairs. The division of these powers has been treated as the condition of political equilibrium, meaning by division their independence one of another in existence - subject always, however, to the abovementioned subsumption of the powers of the individual under the power of the general. The theory of such ‘division’ unmistakably implies the elements of the notion, but so combined by ‘understanding’ as to result in an absurd collocation, instead of the self-redintegration of the living spirit. The one essential canon to make liberty deep and real is to give every business belonging to the general interests of the state a separate organization wherever they are essentially distinct. Such real division must be: for liberty is only deep when it is differentiated in all its fullness and these differences manifested in existence. But to make the business of legislation an independent power - to make it the first power, with the further proviso that all citizens shall have part therein, and the government be merely executive and dependent, presupposes ignorance that the true idea, and therefore the living and spiritual actuality, is the self-redintegrating notion, in other words, the subjectivity which contains in it universality as only one of its moments. (A mistake still greater, if it goes with the fancy that the constitution and the fundamental laws were still one day to make - in a state of society, which includes an already existing development of differences.) Individuality is the first and supreme principle which makes itself felt through the state’s organization. Only through the government, and by its embracing in itself the particular businesses (including the abstract legislative business, which taken apart is also particular), is the state one. These, as always, are the terms on which the different elements essentially and alone truly stand towards each other in the logic of ‘reason’, as opposed to the external footing they stand on in ‘understanding’, which never gets beyond subsuming the individual and particular under the universal. What disorganizes the unity of logical reason, equally disorganizes actuality.


In the government - regarded as organic totality - the sovereign power (principate) is (a) subjectivity as the infinite self-unity of the notion in its development; - the all-sustaining, all-decreeing will of the state, its highest peak and all-pervasive unity. In the perfect form of the state, in which each and every element of the notion has reached free existence, this subjectivity is not a so-called ‘moral person’, or a decree issuing from a majority (forms in which the unity of the decreeing will has not an actual existence), but an actual individual - the will of a decreeing individual, - monarchy. The monarchical constitution is therefore the constitution of developed reason: all other constitutions belong to lower grades of the development and realization of reason.

The unification of all concrete state-powers into one existence, as in the patriarchal society - or, as in a democratic constitution, the participation of all in all affairs - impugns the principle of the division of powers, i.e. the developed liberty of the constituent factors of the Idea. But no whit less must the division (the working out of these factors each to a free totality) be reduced to ‘ideal’ unity, i.e. to subjectivity. The mature differentiation or realization of the Idea means, essentially, that this subjectivity should grow to be a real ‘moment’, an actual existence; and this actuality is not otherwise than as the individuality of the monarch - the subjectivity of abstract and final decision existent in one person. All those forms of collective decreeing and willing - a common will which shall be the sum and the resultant (on aristocratic or democratic principles) of the atomistic of single wills, have on them the mark of the unreality of an abstraction. Two points only are all-important, first to see the necessity of each of the notional factors, and secondly the form in which it is actualized. It is only the nature of the speculative notion which can really give light on the matter. That subjectivity - being the ‘moment’ which emphasizes the need of abstract deciding in general - partly leads on to the proviso that the name of the monarch appear as the bond and sanction under which everything is done in the government; - partly, being simple self-relation, has attached to it the characteristic of immediacy, and then of nature - whereby the destination of individuals for the dignity of the princely power is fixed by inheritance.


  1. In the particular government-power there emerges, first, the division of state-business into its branches (otherwise defined), legislative power, administration of justice or judicial power, administration and police, and its consequent distribution between particular boards or offices, which having their business appointed by law, to that end and for that reason, possess independence of action, without at the same time ceasing to stand under higher supervision. Secondly, too, there arises the participation of several in state-business, who together constitute the ‘general order’ (§ 528) in so far as they take on themselves the charge of universal ends as the essential function of their particular life; - the further condition for being able to take individually part in this business being a certain training, aptitude, and skill for such ends.


The estates-collegium or provincial council is an institution by which all such as belong to civil society in general, and are to that degree private persons, participate in the governmental power, especially in legislation - viz. such legislation as concerns the universal scope of those interests which do not, like peace and war, involve the, as it were, personal interference and action of the State as one man, and therefore do not belong specially to the province of the sovereign power. By virtue of this participation subjective liberty and conceit, with their general opinion, can show themselves palpably efficacious and enjoy the satisfaction of feeling themselves to count for something.

The division of constitutions into democracy, aristocracy and monarchy, is still the most definite statement of their difference in relation to sovereignty. They must at the same time be regarded as necessary structures in the path of development - in short, in the history of the State. Hence it is superficial and absurd to represent them as an object of choice. The pure forms - necessary to the process of evolution - are, in so far as they are finite and in course of change, conjoined both with forms of their degeneration - such as ochlocracy, etc., and with earlier transition-forms. These two forms are not to be confused with those legitimate structures. Thus, it may be - if we look only to the fact that the will of one individual stands at the head of the state - oriental despotism is included under the vague name monarchy - as also feudal monarchy, to which indeed even the favourite name of ‘constitutional monarchy’ cannot be refused. The true difference of these forms from genuine monarchy depends on the true value of those principles of right which are in vogue and have their actuality and guarantee in the state-power. These principles are those expounded earlier, liberty of property, and above all personal liberty, civil society, with its industry and its communities, and the regulated efficiency of the particular bureaux in subordination to the laws.

The question which is most discussed is in what sense we are to understand the participation of private persons in state affairs. For it is as private persons that the members of bodies of estates are primarily to be taken, be they treated as mere individuals, or as representatives of a number of people or of the nation. The aggregate of private persons is often spoken of as the nation: but as such an aggregate it is vulgus, not populus: and in this direction it is the one sole aim of the state that a nation should not come to existence, to power and action, as such an aggregate. Such a condition of a nation is a condition of lawlessness, demoralization, brutishness: in it the nation would only be a shapeless, wild, blind force, like that of the stormy, elemental sea, which, however, is not self-destructive, as the nation - a spiritual element - would be. Yet such a condition may be often heard described as that of true freedom. If there is to be any sense in embarking upon the question of the participation of private persons in public affairs, it is not a brutish mass, but an already organized nation - one in which a governmental power exists - which should be presupposed. The desirability of such participation, however, is not to be put in the superiority of particular intelligence, which private persons are supposed to have over state officials - the contrary must be the case - nor in the superiority of their goodwill for the general best. The members of civil society as such are rather people who find their nearest duty in their private interest and (as especially in the feudal society) in the interest of their privileged corporation. Take the case of England which, because private persons have a predominant share in public affairs, has been regarded as having the freest of all constitutions. Experience shows that that country - as compared with the other civilized states of Europe - is the most backward in civil and criminal legislation, in the law and liberty of property, in arrangements for art and science, and that objective freedom or rational right is rather sacrificed to formal right and particular private interest; and that this happens even in the institutions and possessions suppo’sed to be dedicated to religion. The desirability of private persons taking part in public affairs is partly to be put in their concrete, and therefore more urgent, sense of general wants. But the true motive is the right of the collective spirit to appear as an externally universal will, acting with orderly and express efficacy for the public concerns. By this satisfaction of this right it gets its own life quickened, and at the same time breathes fresh life in the administrative officials; who thus have it brought home to them that not merely have they to enforce duties but also to have regard to rights. Private citizens are in the state the incomparably greater number, and form the multitude of such as are recognized as persons. Hence the will-reason exhibits its existence in them as a preponderating majority of freemen, or in its ‘reflectional’ universality, which has its actuality vouchsafed it as a participation in the sovereignty. But it has already been noted as a ‘moment’ of civil society (§§ 527, 534) that the individuals rise from external into substantial universality, and form a particular kind - the Estates: and it is not in the inorganic form of mere individuals as such (after the democratic fashion of election), but as organic factors, as estates, that they enter upon that participation. In the state a power or agency must never appear and act as a formless, inorganic shape, i.e. basing itself on the principle of multeity and mere numbers.

Assemblies of Estates have been wrongly designated as the legislative power, so far as they form only one branch of that power - a branch in which the special government-officials have an ex officio share, while the sovereign power has the privilege of final decision. In a civilized state, moreover, legislation can only be a further modification of existing laws, and so-called new laws can only deal with minutiae of detail and particularities (cf. § 529 note), the main drift of which has been already prepared or preliminarily settled by the practice of the law-courts. The so-called financial law, in so far as it requires the assent of the estates, is really a government affair: it is only improperly called a law, in the general sense of embracing a wide, indeed the whole, range of the external means of government. The finances deal with what in their nature are only particular needs, ever newly recurring, even if they touch on the sum total of such needs. If the main part of the requirement were - as it very likely is - regarded as permanent, the provision for it would have more the nature of a law: but to be a law it would have to be made once for all, and not to be made yearly, or every few years, afresh. The part which varies according to time and circumstances concerns in reality the smallest part of the amount, and the provisions with regard to it have even less the character of a law: and yet it is and may be only this slight variable part which is matter of dispute, and can be subjected to a varying yearly estimate. It is this last then which falsely bears the high-sounding names of the ‘Grant’ of the Budget, i.e. of the whole of the finances. A law for one year and made each year has even to the plain man something palpably absurd: for he distinguishes the essential and developed universal, as content of a true law, from the reflectional universality which only externally embraces what in its nature is many. To give the name of a law to the annual fixing of financial requirements only serves - with the presupposed separation of legislative from executive - to keep up the illusion of that separation having real existence, and to conceal the fact that the legislative power, when it makes a decree about finance, is really engaged with strict executive business. But the importance attached to the power of from time to time granting ‘supply’, on the ground that the assembly of estates possesses in it a check on the government, and thus a guarantee against injustice and violence - this importance is in one way rather plausible than real. The financial measures necessary for the state’s subsistence cannot be made conditional on any other circumstances, nor can the state’s subsistence be put yearly in doubt. It would be a parallel absurdity if the government were, e.g., to grant and arrange the judicial institutions always for a limited time merely; and thus, by the threat of suspending the activity of such an institution and the fear of a consequent state of brigandage, reserve for itself a means of coercing private individuals. Then again, the pictures of a condition of affairs, in which it might be useful and necessary to have in hand means of compulsion, are partly based on the false conception of a contract between rulers and ruled, and partly presuppose the possibility of such a divergence in spirit between these two parties as would make constitution and government quite out of the question. If we suppose the empty possibility of getting help by such compulsive means brought into existence, such help would rather be the derangement and dissolution of the state, in which there would no longer be a government, but only parties, and the violence and oppression of one party would only be helped away by the other. To fit together the several parts of the state into a constitution after the fashion of mere understanding - i.e. to adjust within it the machinery of a balance of powers external to each other - is to contravene the fundamental idea of what a state is.


The final aspect of the state is to appear in immediate actuality as a single nation marked by physical conditions. As a single individual it is exclusive against other like individuals. In their mutual relations, waywardness and chance have a place; for each person in the aggregate is autonomous: the universal of law is only postulated between them, and not actually existent. This independence of a central authority reduces disputes between them to terms of mutual violence, a state of war, to meet which the general estate in the community assumes the particular function of maintaining the state’s independence against other states, and becomes the estate of bravery.


This state of war shows the omnipotence of the state in its individuality - an individuality that goes even to abstract negativity. Country and fatherland then appear as the power by which the particular independence of individuals and their absorption in the external existence of possession and in natural life is convicted of its own nullity - as the power which procures the maintenance of the general substance by the patriotic sacrifice on the part of these individuals of this natural and particular existence - so making nugatory the nugatoriness that confronts it.

(b) External Public Law


In the state of war the independence of States is at stake. In one case the result may be the mutual recognition of free national individualities (§ 430): and by peace-conventions supposed to be for ever, both this general recognition, and the special claims of nations on one another, are settled and fixed. External state-rights rest partly on these positive treaties, but to that extent contain only rights failing short of true actuality (§ 545): partly so-called international law, the general principle of which is its presupposed recognition by the several States. It thus restricts their otherwise unchecked action against one another in such a way that the possibility of peace is left; and distinguishes individuals as private persons (non-belligerents) from the state. In general, international law rests on social usage.

(c) Universal History


As the mind of a special nation is actual and its liberty is under natural conditions, it admits on this nature-side the influence of geographical and climatic qualities. It is in time; and as regards its range and scope, has essentially a particular principle on the lines of which it must run through a development of its consciousness and its actuality. It has, in short, a history of its own. But as a restricted mind its independence is something secondary; it passes into universal world-history, the events of which exhibit the dialectic of the several national minds - the judgement of the world.


This movement is the path of liberation for the spiritual substance, the deed by which the absolute final aim of the world is realized in it, and the merely implicit mind achieves consciousness and self-consciousness. It is thus the revelation and actuality of its essential and completed essence, whereby it becomes to the outward eye a universal spirit - a world-mind. As this development is in time and in real existence, as it is a history, its several stages and steps are the national minds, each of which, as single and endued by nature with a specific character, is appointed to occupy only one grade, and accomplish one task in the whole deed.

The presupposition that history has an essential and actual end, from the principles of which certain characteristic results logically flow, is called an a priori view of it, and philosophy is reproached with a priori history-writing. On this point, and on history-writing in general, this note must go into further detail. That history, and above all universal history, is founded on an essential and actual aim, which actually is and will be realized in it - the plan of Providence; that, in short, there is Reason in history, must be decided on strictly philosophical ground, and thus shown to be essentially and in fact necessary. To presuppose such aim is blameworthy only when the assumed conceptions or thoughts are arbitrarily adopted, and when a determined attempt is made to force events and actions into conformity with such conceptions. For such a priori methods of treatment at the present day, however, those are chiefly to blame who profess to be purely historical, and who at the same time take opportunity expressly to raise their voice against the habit of philosophizing, first in general, and then in history. Philosophy is to them a troublesome neighbour: for it is an enemy of all arbitrariness and hasty suggestions. Such a priori history-writing has sometimes burst out in quarters where one would least have expected. it, especially on the philological side, and in Germany more than in France and England, where the art of historical writing has gone through a process of purification to a firmer and maturer character. Fictions, like that of a primitive age and its primitive people, possessed from the first of the true knowledge of God and all the sciences - of sacerdotal races - and, when we come to minutiae, of a Roman epic, supposed to be the source of the legends which pass current for the history of ancient Rome, etc., have taken the place of the pragmatizing which detected psychological motives and associations. There is a wide circle of persons who seem to consider it incumbent on a learned and ingenious historian drawing from the original sources to concoct such baseless fancies, and form bold combinations of them from a learned rubbish-heap of out-of-the-way and trivial facts, in defiance of the best-accredited history.

Setting aside this subjective treatment of history, we find what is properly the opposite view forbidding us to import into history an objective purpose. This is after all synonymous with what seems to be the still more legitimate demand that the historian should proceed with impartiality. This is a requirement often and especially made on the history of philosophy: where it is insisted there should be no prepossession in favour of an idea or opinion, just as a judge should have no special sympathy for one of the contending parties. In the case of the judge it is at the same time assumed that he would administer his office ill and foolishly, if he had not an interest, and an exclusive interest in justice, if he had not that for his aim and one sole aim, or if he declined to judge at all. This requirement which we may make upon the judge may be called partiality for justice; and there is no difficulty here in distinguishing it from subjective partiality. But in speaking of the impartiality required from the historian, this self-satisfied insipid chatter lets the distinction disappear, and rejects both kinds of interest. It demands that the historian shall bring with him no definite aim and view by which he may sort out, state, and criticize events, but shall narrate them exactly in the casual mode he finds them, in their incoherent and unintelligent particularity. Now it is at least admitted that a history must have an object, e.g. Rome and its fortunes, or the Decline of the grandeur of the Roman empire. But little reflection is needed to discover that this is the presupposed end which lies at the basis of the events themselves, as of the critical examination into their comparative importance, i.e. their nearer or more remote relation to it. A history without such aim and such criticism would be only an imbecile mental divagation, not as good as a fairy tale, for even children expect a motif in their stories, a purpose at least dimly surmisable with which events and actions are put in relation.

In the existence of a nation the substantial aim is to be a state and preserve itself as such. A nation with no state formation (a mere nation), has, strictly speaking, no history - like the nations which existed before the rise of states and others which still exist in a condition of savagery. What happens to a nation, and takes place within it, has its essential significance in relation to the state: whereas the mere particularities of individuals are at the greatest distance from the true object of history. It is true that the general spirit of an age leaves its imprint in the character of its celebrated individuals, and even their particularities are but the very distant and the dim media through which the collective light still plays in fainter colours. Ay, even such singularities as a petty occurrence, a word, express not a subjective particularity, but an age, a nation, a civilization, in striking portraiture and brevity; and to select such trifles shows the hand of a historian of genius. But, on the other hand, the main mass of singularities is a futile and useless mass, by the painstaking accumulation of which the objects of real historical value are overwhelmed and obscured. The essential characteristic of the spirit and its age is always contained in the great events. It was a correct instinct which sought to banish such portraiture of the particular and the gleaning of insignificant traits, into the Novel (as in the celebrated romances of Walter Scott, etc.). Where the picture presents an unessential aspect of life it is certainly in good taste to conjoin it with an unessential material, such as the romance tales from private events and subjective passions. But to take the individual pettinesses of an age and of the persons in it, and, in the interest of so-called truth, weave them into the picture of general interests, is not only against taste and judgement, but violates the principles of objective truth. The only truth for mind is the substantial and underlying essence, and not the trivialities of external existence and contingency. It is therefore completely indifferent whether such insignificances are duly vouched for by documents, or, as in the romance, invented to suit the character and ascribed to this or that name and circumstances.

The point of interest of Biography - to say a word on that here - appears to run directly counter to any universal scope and aim. But biography too has for its background the historical world, with which the individual is intimately bound up: even purely personal originality, the freak of humour, etc. suggests by allusion that central reality and has its interest heightened by the suggestion. The mere play of sentiment, on the contary, has another ground and interest than history.

The requirement of impartiality addressed to the history of philosophy (and also, we may add, to the history of religion, first in general, and secondly, to church history) generally implies an even more decided bar against presupposition of any objective aim. As the State was already called the point to which in political history criticism had to refer all events, so here the ‘Truth’ must be the object to which the several deeds and events of the spirit would have to be referred. What is actually done is rather to make the contrary presupposition. Histories with such an object as religion or philosophy are understood to have only subjective aims for their theme, i.e. only opinions and mere ideas, not an essential and realized object like the truth. And that with the mere excuse that there is no truth. On this assumption the sympathy with truth appears as only a partiality of the usual sort, a partiality for opinion and mere ideas, which all alike have no stuff in them. and are all treated as indifferent. In that way historical truth means but correctness - an accurate report of externals, without critical treatment save as regards this correctness - admitting, in this case, only qualitative and quantitative judgements, no judgements of necessity or notion (cf. notes to §§ 172 and 175). But, really, if Rome or the German empire, etc. are an actual and genuine object of political history, and the aim to which the phenomena are to be related and by which they are to be judged; then in universal history the genuine spirit, the consciousness of it, and of its essence, is even in a higher degree a true and actual object and theme, and an aim to which all other phenomena are essentially and actually subservient. Only therefore through their relationship to it, i.e. through the judgement in which they are subsumed under it, while it inheres in them, have they their value and even their existence. It is the spirit which not merely broods over history as over the waters but lives in it and is alone its principle of movement: and in the path of that spirit, liberty, i.e. a development determined by the notion of spirit, is the guiding principle and only its notion its final aim, i.e. truth. For Spirit is consciousness. Such a doctrine - or in other words that Reason is in history - will be partly at least a plausible faith, partly it is a cognition of philosophy.


This liberation of mind, in which it proceeds to come to itself and to realize its truth, and the business of so doing, is the supreme right, the absolute Law. The self-consciousness of a particular nation is a vehicle for the contemporary development of the collective spirit in its actual existence: it is the objective actuality in which that spirit for the time invests its will. Against this absolute will the other particular natural minds have no rights: that nation dominates the world: but yet the universal will steps onward over its property for the time being, as over a special grade, and then delivers it over to its chance and doom.


To such extent as this business of actuality appears as an action, and therefore as a work of individuals, these individuals, as regards the substantial issue of their labour, are instruments, and their subjectivity, which is what is peculiar to them, is the empty form of activity. What they personally have gained therefore through the individual share they took in the substantial business (prepared and appointed independently of them) is a formal universality or subjective mental idea - Fame, which is their reward.


The national spirit contains nature-necessity, and stands in external existence (§ 483): the ethical substance, potentially infinite, is actually a particular and limited substance (§§ 549, 550); on its subjective side it labours under contingency, in the shape of its unreflective natural usages, and its content is presented to it as something existing in time and tied to an external nature and external world. The spirit, however (which thinks in this moral organism) overrides and absorbs within itself the finitude attaching to it as national spirit in its state and the state’s temporal interests, in the system of laws and usages. It rises to apprehend itself in its essentiality. Such apprehension, however, still has the immanent limitedness of the national spirit. But the spirit which thinks in universal history, stripping off at the same time those limitations of the several national minds and its own temporal restrictions, lays hold of its concrete universality, and rises to apprehend the absolute mind, as the eternally actual truth in which the contemplative reason enjoys freedom, while the necessity of nature and the necessity of history are only ministrant to its revelation and the vessels of its honour.

The strictly technical aspects of the Mind’s elevation to God have been spoken of in the Introduction to the Logic (cf. especially § 51, note). As regards the starting-point of that elevation, Kant has on the whole adopted the most correct, when he treats belief in God as proceeding from the practical Reason. For that starting- point contains the material or content which constitutes the content of the notion of God. But the true concrete material is neither Being (as in the cosmological) nor mere action by design (as in the physico-theological proof) but the Mind, the absolute characteristic and function of which is effective reason, i.e. the self-determining and self-realizing notion itself - Liberty. That the elevation of subjective mind to God which these considerations give is by Kant again deposed to a postulate - a mere ‘ought’ - is the peculiar perversity, formerly noticed, of calmly and simply reinstating as true and valid that very antithesis of finitude, the supersession of which into truth is the essence of that elevation.

As regards the ‘mediation’ which, as it has been already shown (§ 192, cf. § 204 note), that elevation to God really involves, the point specially calling for note is the ’ moment’ of negation through which the essential content of the starting-point is purged of its finitude so as to come forth free. This factor, abstract in the formal treatment of logic, now gets its most concrete interpretation. The finite, from which the start is now made, is the real ethical self- consciousness. The negation through which that consciousness raises its spirit to its truth, is the purification, actually accomplished in the ethical world, whereby its conscience is purged of subjective opinion and its will freed from the selfishness of desire. Genuine religion and genuine religiosity only issue from the moral life: religion is that life rising to think, i.e. becoming aware of the free universality of its concrete essence. Only from the moral life and by the moral life is the Idea of God seen to be free spirit: outside the ethical spirit therefore it is vain to seek for true religion and religiosity.

But - as is the case with all speculative process - this development of one thing out of another means that what appears as sequel and derivative is rather the absolute prius of what it appears to be mediated by, and here in mind is also known as its truth.

Here then is the place to go more deeply into the reciprocal relations between the state and religion, and in doing so to elucidate the terminology which is familiar and current on the topic. It is evident and apparent from what has preceded that moral life is the state retracted into its inner heart and substance, while the state is the organization and actualization of moral life; and that religion is the very substance of the moral life itself and of the state. At this rate, the state rests on the ethical sentiment, and that on the religious. If religion then is the consciousness of ‘absolute’ truth, then whatever is to rank as right and justice, as law and duty, i.e. as true in the world of free will, can be so esteemed only as it is participant in that truth, as it is subsumed under it and is its sequel. But if the truly moral life is to be a sequel of religion, then perforce religion must have the genuine content; i.e. the idea of God it knows must be the true and real. The ethical life is the divine spirit as indwelling in self-consciousness, as it is actually present in a nation and its individual members. This self-consciousness retiring upon itself out of its empirical actuality and bringing its truth to consciousness has, in its faith and in its conscience, only what it has consciously secured in its spiritual actuality. The two are inseparable: there cannot be two kinds of conscience, one religious and another ethical, differing from the former in body and value of truth. But in point of form, i.e. for thought and knowledge - (and religion and ethical life belong to intelligence and are a thinking and knowing) - the body of religious truth, as the pure self-subsisting and therefore supreme truth, exercises a sanction over the moral life which lies in empirical actuality. Thus for self-consciousness religion is the ‘basis’ of moral life and of the state. It has been the monstrous blunder of our times to try to look upon these inseparables as separable from one another, and even as mutually indifferent. The view taken of the relationship of religion and the state has been that, whereas the state had an independent existence of its own, springing from some force and power, religion was a later addition, something desirable perhaps for strengthening the political bulwarks, but purely subjective in individuals: - or it may be, religion is treated as something without effect on the moral life of the state, i.e. its reasonable law and constitution which are based on a ground of their own.

As the inseparability of the two sides has been indicated, it may be worth while to note the separation as it appears on the side of religion. It is primarily a point of form: the attitude which self-consciousness takes to the body of truth. So long as this body of truth is the very substance or indwelling spirit of self-consciousness in its actuality, then self-consciousness in this content has the certainty of itself and is free. But if this present self-consciousness is lacking, then there may be created, in point of form, a condition of spiritual slavery, even though the implicit content of religion is absolute spirit. This great difference (to cite a specific case) comes out within the Christian religion itself, even though here it is not the nature-element in which the idea of God is embodied, and though nothing of the sort even enters as a factor into its central dogma and sole theme of a God who is known in spirit and in truth. And yet in Catholicism this spirit of all truth is in actuality set in rigid opposition to the self-conscious spirit. And, first of all, God is in the ‘host’ presented to religious adoration as an external thing. (In the Lutheran Church, on the contrary, the host as such is not at first consecrated, but in the moment of enjoyment, i.e. in the annihilation of its externality. and in the act of faith, i.e. in the free self-certain spirit: only then is it consecrated and exalted to be present God.) From that first and supreme status of externalization flows every other phase of externality - of bondage, non-spirituality, and superstition. It leads to a laity, receiving its knowledge of divine truth, as well as the direction of its will and conscience from without and from another order - which order again does not get possession of that knowledge in a spiritual way only, but to that end essentially requires an external consecration. It leads to the non-spiritual style of praying - partly as mere moving of the lips, partly in the way that the subject foregoes his right of directly addressing God, and prays others to pray - addressing his devotion to miracle- working images, even to bones, and expecting miracles from them. It leads, generally, to justification by external works, a merit which is supposed to be gained by acts, and even to be capable of being transferred to others. All this binds the spirit under an externalism by which the very meaning of spirit is perverted and misconceived at its source, and law and justice, morality and conscience, responsibility and duty are corrupted at their root.

Along with this principle of spiritual bondage, and these applications of it in the religious life, there can only go in the legislative and constitutional system a legal and moral bondage, and a state of lawlessness and immorality in political life. Catholicism has been loudly praised and is still often praised - logically enough - as the one religion which secures the stability of governments. But in reality this applies only to governments which are bound up with institutions founded on the bondage of the spirit (of that spirit which should have legal and moral liberty), i.e. with institutions that embody injustice and with a morally corrupt and barbaric state of society. But these governments are not aware that in fanaticism they have a terrible power, which does not rise in hostility against them, only so long as and only on condition that they remain sunk in the thraldom of injustice and immorality. But in mind there is a very different power available against that externalism and dismemberment induced by a false religion. Mind collects itself into its inward free actuality. Philosophy awakes in the spirit of governments and nations the wisdom to discern what is essentially and actually right and reasonable in the real world. It was well to call these products of thought, and in a special sense Philosophy, the wisdom of the world;(10) for thought makes the spirit’s truth an actual present, leads it into the real world, and thus liberates it in its actuality and in its own self.

Thus set free, the content of religion assumes quite another shape. So long as the form, i.e. our consciousness and subjectivity, lacked liberty, it followed necessarily that self-consciousness was conceived as not immanent in the ethical principles which religion embodies, and these principles were set at such a distance as to seem to have true being only as negative to actual self-consciousness. In this unreality ethical content gets the name of Holiness. But once the divine spirit introduces itself into actuality, and actuality emancipates itself to spirit, then what in the world was a postulate of holiness is supplanted by the actuality of moral life. Instead of the vow of chastity, marriage now ranks as the ethical relation; and, therefore, as the highest on this side of humanity stands the family. Instead of the vow of poverty (muddled up into a contradiction of assigning merit to whosoever gives away goods to the poor, i.e. whosoever enriches them) is the precept of action to acquire goods through one’s own intelligence and industry, - of honesty in commercial dealing, and in the use of property - in short moral life in the socioeconomic sphere. And instead of the vow of obedience, true religion sanctions obedience to the law and the legal arrangements of the state - an obedience which is itself the true freedom, because the state is a self-possessed, self-realizing reason - in short, moral life in the state. Thus, and thus only, can law and morality exist. The precept of religion, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’ is not enough: the question is to settle what is Caesar’s, what belongs to the secular authority: and it is sufficiently notorious that the secular no less than the ecclesiastical authority have claimed almost everything as their own. The divine spirit must interpenetrate the entire secular life: whereby wisdom is concrete within it, and it carries the terms of its own justification. But that concrete indwelling is only the aforesaid ethical organizations. It is the morality of marriage as against the sanctity of a celibate order; - the morality of economic and industrial action against the sanctity of poverty and its indolence; - the morality of an obedience dedicated to the law of the state as against the sanctity of an obedience from which law and duty are absent and where conscience is enslaved. With the growing need for law and morality and the sense of the spirit’s essential liberty, there sets in a conflict of spirit with the religion of unfreedom. It is no use to organize political laws and arrangements on principles of equity and reason, so long as in religion the principle of unfreedom is not abandoned. A free state and a slavish religion are incompatible. It is silly to suppose that we may try to allot them separate spheres, under the impression that their diverse natures will maintain an attitude of tranquillity one to another and not break out in contradiction and battle. Principles of civil freedom can be but abstract and superficial, and political institutions deduced from them must be, if taken alone, untenable, so long as those principles in their wisdom mistake religion so much as not to know that the maxims of the reason in actuality have their last and supreme sanction in the religious conscience in subsumption under the consciousness of ‘absolute’ truth. Let us suppose even that, no matter how, a code of law should arise, so to speak a priori, founded on principles of reason, but in contradiction with an established religion based on principles of spiritual unfreedom; still, as the duty of carrying out the laws lies in the hands of individual members of the government, and of the various classes of the administrative personnel, it is vain to delude ourselves with the abstract and empty assumption that the individuals will act only according to the letter or meaning of the law, and not in the spirit of their religion where their inmost conscience and supreme obligation lies. Opposed to what religion pronounces holy, the laws appear something made by human hands: even though backed by penalties and externally introduced, they could offer no lasting resistance to the contradictions and attacks of the religious spirit. Such laws, however sound their provisions may be, thus founder on the conscience, whose spirit is different from the spirit of the laws and refuses to sanction them. It is nothing but a modern folly to try to alter a corrupt moral organization by altering its political constitution and code of laws without changing the religion, - to make a revolution without having made a reformation, to suppose that a political constitution opposed to the old religion could live in peace and harmony with it and its sanctities, and that stability could be procured for the laws by external guarantees, e.g., so-called ‘chambers’, and the power given them to fix the budget, etc. (cf. § 544 note). At best it is only a temporary expedient - when it is obviously too great a task to descend into the depths of the religious spirit and to raise that same spirit to its truth - to seek to separate law and justice from religion. Those guarantees are but rotten bulwarks against the consciences of the persons charged with administering the laws - among which laws these guarantees are included. It is indeed the height and profanity of contradiction to seek to bind and subject to the secular code the religious conscience to which mere human law is a thing profane.

The perception had dawned upon Plato with great clearness of the gulf which in his day had commenced to divide the established religion and the political constitution, on one hand, from those deeper requirements which, on the other hand, were made upon religion and politics by liberty which had learnt to recognize its inner life. Plato gets hold of the thought that a genuine constitution and a sound political life have their deeper foundation on the Idea - on the essentially and actually universal and genuine principles of eternal righteousness. Now to see and ascertain what these are is certainly the function and the business of philosophy. It is from this point of view that Plato breaks out into the celebrated or notorious passage where he makes Socrates emphatically state that philosophy and political power must coincide, that the Idea must be regent, if the distress of nations is to see its end. What Plato thus definitely set before his mind was that the Idea - which implicitly indeed is the free self-determining thought - could not get into consciousness save only in the form of a thought; that the substance of the thought could only be true when set forth as a universal, and as such brought to consciousness under its most abstract form.

To compare the Platonic standpoint in all its definiteness with the point of view from which the relationship of state and religion is here regarded, the notional differences on which everything turns must be recalled to mind. The first of these is that in natural things their substance or genus is different from their existence in which that substance is as subject: further that this subjective existence of the genus is distinct from that which it gets, when specially set in relief as genus, or, to put it simply, as the universal in a mental concept or idea. This additional ‘individuality’ - the soil on which the universal and underlying principle freely and expressly exists - is the intellectual and thinking self. In the case of natural things their truth and reality does not get the form of universality and essentiality through themselves, and their ‘individuality’ is not itself the form: the form is only found in subjective thinking, which in philosophy gives that universal truth and reality an existence of its own. In man’s case it is otherwise: his truth and reality is the free mind itself, and it comes to existence in his self-consciousness. This absolute nucleus of man - mind intrinsically concrete - is just this - to have the form (to have thinking) itself for a content. To the height of the thinking consciousness of this principle Aristotle ascended in his notion of the entelechy of thought, thus surmounting the Platonic Idea (the genus, or essential being). But thought always - and that on account of this very principle - contains the immediate self-subsistence of subjectivity no less than it contains universality; the genuine Idea of the intrinsically concrete mind is just as essentially under the one of its terms (subjective consciousness) as under the other (universality): and in the one as in the other it is the same substantial content. Under the subjective form, however, fall feeling, intuition, pictorial representation; and it is in fact necessary that in point of time the consciousness of the absolute Idea should be first reached and apprehended in this form: in other words, it must exist in its immediate reality as religion, earlier than it does as philosophy. Philosophy is a later development from this basis (just as Greek philosophy itself is later than Greek religion), and in fact reaches its completion by catching and comprehending in all its definite essentiality that principle of spirit which first manifests itself in religion. But Greek philosophy could set itself up only in opposition to Greek religion: the unity of thought and the substantiality of the Idea could take up none but a hostile attitude to an imaginative polytheism, and to the gladsome and frivolous humours of its poetic creations. The form in its infinite truth, the subjectivity of mind, broke forth at first only as a subjective free thinking, which was not yet identical with the substantiality itself - and thus this underlying principle was not yet apprehended as absolute mind. Thus religion might appear as first purified only through philosophy - through pure self-existent thought: but the form pervading this underlying principle - the form which philosophy attacked - was that creative imagination.

Political power, which is developed similarly, but earlier than philosophy, from religion. exhibits the one-sidedness, which in the actual world may infect its implicitly true Idea, as demoralization. Plato, in common with all his thinking contemporaries, perceived this demoralization of democracy and the defectiveness even of its principle; he set in relief accordingly the underlying principle of the state, but could not work into his idea of it the infinite form of subjectivity, which still escaped his intelligence. His state is therefore, on its own showing, wanting in subjective liberty (§ 503 note, § 513, etc.). The truth which should be immanent in the state, should knit it together and control it, he, for these reasons, got hold of only in the form of thought-out truth, of philosophy; and hence he makes that utterance that ‘so long as philosophers do not rule in the states, or those who are now called kings and rulers do not soundly and comprehensively philosophize, so long neither the state nor the race of men can be liberated from evils - so long will the idea of the political constitution fall short of possibility and not see the light of the sun’. It was not vouchsafed to Plato to go on so far as to say that so long as true religion did not spring up in the world and hold away in political life, so long the genuine principle of the state had not come into actuality. But so long too this principle could not emerge even in thought, nor could thought lay hold of the genuine idea of the state - the idea of the substantial moral life, with which is identical the liberty of an independent self-consciousness. Only in the principle of mind, which is aware of its own essence, is implicitly in absolute liberty, and has its actuality in the act of self-liberation, does the absolute possibility and necessity exist for political power, religion, and the principles of philosophy coinciding in one, and for accomplishing the reconciliation of actuality in general with the mind, of the state with the religious conscience as well as with the philosophical consciousness. Self-realizing subjectivity is in this case absolutely identical with substantial universality. Hence religion as such, and the state as such - both as forms in which the principle exists - each contain the absolute truth: so that the truth, in its philosophic phase, is after all only in one of its forms. But even religion, as it grows and expands, lets other aspects of the Idea of humanity grow and expand also (§§ 566 seqq.). As it left therefore behind, in its first immediate, and so also one-sided phase, Religion may, or rather must, appear in its existence degraded to sensuous externality, and thus in the sequel become an influence to oppress liberty of spirit and to deprave political life. Still the principle has in it the infinite ‘elasticity’ of the ‘absolute’ form’, so as to overcome this depraving of the form-determination (and the content by these means), and to bring about the reconciliation of the spirit in itself. Thus ultimately, in the Protestant conscience the principles of the religious and of the ethical conscience come to be one and the same: the free spirit learning to see itself in its reasonableness and truth. In the Protestant state, the constitution and the code, as well as their several applications, embody the principle and the development of the moral life, which proceeds and can only proceed from the truth of religion, when reinstated in its original principle and in that way as such first become actual. The moral life of the state and the religious spirituality of the state are thus reciprocal guarantees of strength.



The notion of mind has its reality in the mind. If this reality in identity with that notion is to exist as the consciousness of the absolute Idea, then the necessary aspect is that the implicitly free intelligence be in its actuality liberated to its notion, if that actuality is to be a vehicle worthy of it. The subjective and the objective spirit are to be looked on as the road on which this aspect of reality or existence rises to maturity.


The absolute mind, while it is self-centred identity, is always also identity returning and ever returned into itself: if it is the one and universal substance it is so as a spirit, discerning itself into a self and a consciousness, for which it is as substance. Religion, as this supreme sphere may be in general designated, if it has on one hand to be studied as issuing from the subject and having its home in the subject, must no less be regarded as objectively issuing from the absolute spirit which as spirit is in its community.

That here, as always, belief or faith is not opposite to consciousness or knowledge, but rather to a sort of knowledge, and that belief is only a particular form of the latter, has been remarked already (§ 63 note). If nowadays there is so little consciousness of God, and his objective essence is so little dwelt upon, while people speak so much more of the subjective side of religion, i.e. of God’s indwelling in us, and if that and not the truth as such is called for - in this there is at least the correct principle that God must be apprehended as spirit in his community.


The subjective consciousness of the absolute spirit is essentially and intrinsically a process, the immediate and substantial unity of which is the Belief in the witness of the spirit as the certainty of objective truth. Belief, at once this immediate unity and containing it as a reciprocal dependence of these different terms, has in devotion - the implicit or more explicit act of worship (cultus) - passed over into the process of superseding the contrast till it becomes spiritual liberation, the process of authenticating that first certainty by this intermediation, and of gaining its concrete determination, viz. reconciliation, the actuality of the spirit.



As this consciousness of the Absolute first takes shape, its immediacy produces the factor of finitude in Art. On one hand, that is, it breaks up into a work of external common existence, into the subject which produces that work, and the subject which contemplates and worships it. But, on the other hand, it is the concrete contemplation and mental picture of implicitly absolute spirit as the Ideal. In this ideal, or the concrete shape born of the subjective spirit, its natural immediacy, which is only a sign of the Idea, is so transfigured by the informing spirit in order to express the Idea, that the figure shows it and it alone: - the shape or form of Beauty.


The sensuous externality attaching to the beautiful, - the form of immediacy as such - at the same time qualifies what it embodies: and the God (of art) has with his spirituality at the same time the stamp upon him of a natural medium or natural phase of existence - He contains the so-called unity of nature and spirit - i.e. the immediate unity in sensuously intuitional form - hence not the spiritual unity, in which the natural would be put only as ‘ideal’, as superseded in spirit, and the spiritual content would be only in self-relation. It is not the absolute spirit which enters this consciousness. On the subjective side the community has of course an ethical life, aware, as it is, of the spirituality of its essence: and its self-consciousness and actuality are in it elevated to substantial liberty. But with the stigma of immediacy upon it, the subject’s liberty is only a manner of life, without the infinite self-reflection and the subjective inwardness of conscience. These considerations govern in their further developments the devotion and the worship in the religion of fine art.


For the objects of contemplation it has to produce, Art requires not only an external given material - (under which are also included subjective images and ideas), but - for the expression of spiritual truth - must use the given forms of nature with a significance which art must divine and possess (cf. § 411). Of all such forms the human is the highest and the true, because only in it can the spirit have its corporeity and thus its visible expression.

This disposes of the principle of the imitation of nature in art: a point on which it is impossible to come to an understanding while a distinction is left thus abstract - in other words, so long as the natural is only taken in its externality, not as the ‘characteristic’ meaningful nature-form which is significant of spirit.


In such single shapes the ‘absolute’ mind cannot be made explicit: in and to art therefore the spirit is a limited natural spirit whose implicit universality, when steps are taken to specify its fullness in detail, breaks up into an indeterminate polytheism. With the essential restrictedness of its content, Beauty in general goes no further than a penetration of the vision or image by the spiritual principle - something formal, so that the thought embodied, or the idea, can, like the material which it uses to work in, be of the most diverse and unessential kind, and still the work be something beautiful and a work of art.


The one-sidedness of immediacy on the part of the Ideal involves the opposite one-sidedness (§ 556) that it is something made by the artist. The subject or agent is the mere technical activity: and the work of art is only then an expression of the God, when there is no sign of subjective particularity in it, and the net power of the indwelling spirit is conceived and born into the world, without admixture and unspotted from its contingency. But as liberty only goes as far as there is thought, the action inspired with the fullness of this indwelling power, the artist’s enthusiasm, is like a foreign force under which he is bound and passive; the artistic production has on its part the form of natural immediacy, it belongs to the genius or particular endowment of the artist - and is at the same time a labour concerned with technical cleverness and mechanical externalities. The work of art therefore is just as much a work due to free option, and the artist is the master of the God.


In work so inspired the reconciliation appears so obvious in its initial stage that it is without more ado accomplished in the subjective self-consciousness, which is thus self-confident and of good cheer, without the depth and without the sense of its antithesis to the absolute essence. On the further side of the perfection (which is reached in such reconciliation, in the beauty of classical art) lies the art of sublimity - symbolic art, in which the figuration suitable to the Idea is not yet found, and the thought as going forth and wrestling with the figure is exhibited as a negative attitude to it, and yet all the while toiling to work itself into it. The meaning or theme thus shows it has not yet reached the infinite form, is not yet known, not yet conscious of itself, as free spirit. The artist’s theme only is as the abstract God of pure thought, or an effort towards him - a restless and unappeased effort which throws itself into shape after shape as it vainly tries to find its goal.


In another way the Idea and the sensuous figure it appears in are incompatible; and that is where the infinite form, subjectivity, is not as in the first extreme a mere superficial personality, but its inmost depth, and God is known not as only seeking his form or satisfying himself in an external form, but as only finding himself in himself, and thus giving himself his adequate figure in the spiritual world alone. Romantic art gives up the task of showing him as such in external form and by means of beauty: it presents him as only condescending to appearance, and the divine as the heart of hearts in an externality from which it always disengages itself. Thus the external can here appear as contingent towards its significance.

The Philosophy of Religion has to discover the logical necessity in the progress by which the Being, known as the Absolute, assumes fuller and firmer features; it has to note to what particular feature the kind of cultus corresponds - and then to see how the secular self-consciousness, the consciousness of what is the supreme vocation of man - in short how the nature of a nation’s moral life, the principle of its law, of its actual liberty, and of its constitution, as well as of its art and science, corresponds to the principle which constitutes the substance of a religion. That all these elements of a nation’s actuality constitute one systematic totality, that one spirit creates and informs them, is a truth on which follows the further truth that the history of religions coincides with the world-history.

As regards the close connection of art with the various religions it may be specially noted that beautiful art can only belong to those religions in which the spiritual principle, though concrete and intrinsically free, is not yet absolute. In religions where the Idea has not yet been revealed and known in its free character, though the craving for art is felt in order to bring in imaginative visibility to consciousness the idea of the supreme being, and though art is the sole organ in which the abstract and radically indistinct content - a mixture from natural and spiritual sources - can try to bring itself to consciousness; - still this art is defective; its form is defective because its subject-matter and theme is so - for the defect in subject-matter comes from the form not being immanent in it. The representations of this symbolic art keep a certain tastelessness and stolidity - for the principle it embodies is itself stolid and dull, and hence has not the power freely to transmute the external to significance and shape. Beautiful art, on the contrary, has for its condition the self-consciousness of the free spirit - the consciousness that compared with it the natural and sensuous has no standing of its own: it makes the natural wholly into the mere expression of spirit, which is thus the inner form that gives utterance to itself alone.

But with a further and deeper study, we see that the advent of art, in a religion still in the bonds of sensuous externality, shows that such religion is on the decline. At the very time it seems to give religion the supreme glorification, expression, and brilliancy, it has lifted the religion away over its limitation. In the sublime divinity to which the work of art succeeds in giving expression the artistic genius and the, spectator find themselves at home, with their personal sense and feeling, satisfied and liberated: to them the vision and the consciousness of free spirit has been vouchsafed and attained. Beautiful art, from its side, has thus performed the same service as philosophy: it has purified the spirit from its thraldom. The older religion in which the need of fine art, and just for that reason, is first generated, looks up in its principle to an other-world which is sensuous and unmeaning: the images adored by its devotees are hideous idols regarded as wonder-working talismans, which point to the unspiritual objectivity of that other-world - and bones perform a similar or even a better service than such images. But even fine art is only a grade of liberation, not the supreme liberation itself. - The genuine objectivity, which is only in the medium of thought - the medium in which alone the pure spirit is for the spirit, and where the liberation is accompanied with reverence - is still absent in the sensuous beauty of the work of art, still more in that external, unbeautiful sensuousness.


Beautiful Art, like the religion peculiar to it, has its future in true religion. The restricted value of the Idea passes utterly and naturally into the universality identical with the infinite form; - the vision in which consciousness has to depend upon the senses passes into a self-mediating knowledge, into an existence which is itself knowledge - into revelation. Thus the principle which gives the Idea its content is that it embody free intelligence, and as ‘absolute’ spirit it is for the spirit.



It lies essentially in the notion of religion, - the religion i.e. whose content is absolute mind - that it be revealed, and, what is more, revealed by God. Knowledge (the principle by which the substance is mind) is a self-determining principle, as infinite self-realizing form - it therefore is manifestation out and out. The spirit is only spirit in so far as it is for the spirit, and in the absolute religion it is the absolute spirit which manifests no longer abstract elements of its being but itself.

The old conception - due to a one-sided survey of human life - of Nemesis, which made the divinity and its action in the world only a levelling power, dashing to pieces everything high and great - was confronted by Plato and Aristotle with the doctrine that God is not envious. The same answer may be given to the modem assertions that man cannot ascertain God. These assertions (and more than assertions they are not) are the more illogical, because made within a religion which is expressly called the revealed; for according to them it would rather be the religion in which nothing of God was revealed, in which he had not revealed himself, and those belonging to it would be the heathen ‘who know not God’. If the word ‘God’ is taken in earnest in religion at all, it is from Him, the theme and centre of religion, that the method of divine knowledge may and must begin: and if self-revelation is refused Him, then the only thing left to constitute His nature would be to ascribe envy to Him.. But clearly if the word ‘Mind’ is to have a meaning, it implies the revelation of Him.

If we recollect how intricate is the knowledge of the divine Mind for those who are not content with the homely pictures of faith but proceed to thought - at first only ‘rationalizing’ reflection, but afterwards, as in duty bound, to speculative comprehension, it may almost create surprise that so many, and especially theologians whose vocation it is to deal with these Ideas, have tried to get off their task by gladly accepting anything offered them for this behoof. And nothing serves better to shirk it than to adopt the conclusion that man knows nothing of God. To know what God as spirit is - to apprehend this accurately and distinctly in thoughts - requires careful and thorough speculation. It includes, in its forefront, the propositions: God is God only so far as he knows him-self: his self-knowledge is, further, a self-consciousness in man and man’s knowledge of God, which proceeds to man’s self- knowledge in God. - See the profound elucidation of these propositions in the work from which they are taken: Aphorisms on Knowing and Not-knowing, by C. F. G - 1.: Berlin 1829.


When the immediacy and sensuousness of shape and knowledge is superseded, God is, in point of content, the essential and actual spirit of nature and spirit, while in point of form he is, first of all, presented to consciousness as a mental representation. This quasi-pictorial representation gives to the elements of his content, on one hand, a separate being, making them presuppositions towards each other, and phenomena which succeed each other; their relationship it makes a series of events according to finite reflective categories. But, on the other hand, such a form of finite representationalism is also overcome and superseded in the faith which realizes one spirit and in the devotion of worship.


In this separating, the form parts from the content: and in the form the different functions of the notion part off into special spheres or media, in each of which the absolute spirit exhibits itself; (a) as eternal content, abiding self-centred, even in its manifestation; (b) as distinction of the eternal essence from its manifestation, which by this difference becomes the phenomenal world into which the content enters; (c) as infinite return, and reconciliation with the eternal being, of the world it gave away - the withdrawal of the eternal from the phenomenal into the unity of its fullness.


  1. Under the ‘moment’ of Universality - the sphere of pure thought or the abstract medium of essence - it is therefore the absolute spirit, which is at first the presupposed principle, not, however, staying aloof and inert, but (as underlying and essential power under the reflective category of causality) creator of heaven and earth: but yet in this eternal sphere rather only begetting himself as his son, with whom, though different, he still remains in original identity - just as, again, this differentiation of him from the universal essence eternally supersedes itself, and, through this mediating of a self-superseding mediation, the first substance is essentially as concrete individuality and subjectivity - is the Spirit.


Under the ‘moment’ of particularity, or of judgement, it is this concrete eternal being which is presupposed.- its movement is the creation of the phenomenal world. The eternal ‘moment’ of mediation - of the only Son - divides itself to become the antithesis of two separate worlds. On one hand is heaven and earth, the elemental and the concrete nature - on the other hand, standing in action and reaction with such nature, the spirit, which therefore is finite. That spirit, as the extreme of inherent negativity, completes its independence till it becomes wickedness, and is that extreme through its connection with a confronting nature and through its own naturalness thereby investing it. Yet, amid that naturalness, it is, when it thinks, directed towards the Eternal, though, for that reason, only standing to it in an external connection.


  1. Under the ‘moment’ of individuality as such - of subjectivity and the notion itself, in which the contrast of universal and particular has sunk to its identical ground, the place of presupposition (1) is taken by the universal substance, as actualized out of its abstraction into an individual self-consciousness. This individual, who as such is identified with the essence - (in the Eternal sphere he is called the Son) - is transplanted into the world of time, and in him wickedness is implicitly overcome. Further, this immediate, and thus sensuous, existence of the absolutely concrete is represented as putting himself in judgement and expiring in the pain of negativity, in which he, as infinite subjectivity, keeps himself unchanged, and thus, as absolute return from that negativity and as universal unity of universal and individual essentiality, has realized his being as the Idea of the spirit, eternal, but alive and present in the world.


  1. This objective totality of the divine man who is the Idea of the spirit is the implicit presupposition for the finite immediacy of the single subject. For such subject therefore it is at first an Other, an object of contemplating vision - but the vision of implicit truth, through which witness of the spirit in him, he, on account of his immediate nature, at first characterized himself as nought and wicked. But, secondly, after the example of his truth, by means of the faith on the unity (in that example implicitly accomplished) of universal and individual essence, he is also the movement to throw off his immediacy, his natural man and self-will, to close himself in unity with that example (who is his implicit life) in the pain of negativity, and thus to know himself made one with the essential Being. Thus the Being of Beings (3) through this mediation brings about its own indwelling in self-consciousness, and is the actual presence of the essential and self-subsisting spirit who is all in all.


These three syllogisms, constituting the one syllogism of the absolute self-mediation of spirit, are the revelation of that spirit whose life is set out as a cycle of concrete shapes in pictorial thought. From this its separation into parts, with a temporal and external sequence, the unfolding of the mediation contracts itself in the result - where the spirit closes in unity with itself - not merely to the simplicity of faith and devotional feeling, but even to thought. In the immanent simplicity of thought the unfolding still has its expansion, yet is all the while known as an indivisible coherence of the universal, simple, and eternal spirit in itself. In this form of truth, truth is the object of philosophy.

If the result - the realized Spirit in which all mediation has superseded itself - is taken in a merely formal, contentless sense, so that the spirit is not also at the same time known as implicitly existent and objectively self-unfolding; - then that infinite subjectivity is the merely formal self-consciousness, knowing itself in itself as absolute - Irony. Irony, which can make every objective reality nought and vain, is itself the emptiness and vanity, which from itself, and therefore by chance and its own good pleasure, gives itself direction and content, remains master over it, is not bound by it - and, with the assertion that it stands on the very summit of religion and philosophy, falls back rather into the vanity of wilfulness. It is only in proportion as the pure infinite form, the self-centred manifestation, throws off the one-sidedness of subjectivity in which it is the vanity of thought, that it is the free thought which has its infinite characteristic at the same time as essential and actual content, and has that content as an object in which it is also free. Thinking, so far, is only the formal aspect of the absolute content.



This science is the unity of Art and Religion. Whereas the vision-method of Art, external in point of form, is but subjective production and shivers the substantial content into many separate shapes, and whereas Religion, with its separation into parts, opens it out in mental picture, and mediates what is thus opened out; Philosophy not merely keeps them together to make a totality, but even unifies them into the simple spiritual vision, and then in that raises them to self-conscious thought. Such consciousness is thus the intelligible unity (cognized by thought) of art and religion, in which the diverse elements in the content are cognized as necessary, and this necessary as free.


Philosophy thus characterizes itself as a cognition of the necessity in the content of the absolute picture-idea, as also of the necessity in the two forms - on one hand, immediate vision and its poetry, and the objective and external revelation presupposed by representation - on the other hand, first the subjective retreat inwards, then the subjective movement of faith and its final identification with the presupposed object. This cognition is thus the recognition of this content and its form; it is the liberation from the one-sidedness of the forms, elevation of them into the absolute form, which determines itself to content, remains identical with it, and is in that the cognition of that essential and actual necessity. This movement, which philosophy is, finds itself already accomplished, when at the close it seizes its own notion - i.e. only looks back on its knowledge.

Here might seem to be the place to treat in a definite exposition of the reciprocal relations of philosophy and religion. The whole question turns entirely on the difference of the forms of speculative thought from the forms of mental representation and ‘reflecting’ intellect. But it is the whole cycle of philosophy, and of logic in particular, which has not merely taught and made known this difference, but also criticized it, or rather has let its nature develop and judge itself by these very categories. It is only by an insight into the value of these forms that the true and needful conviction can be gained, that the content of religion and philosophy is the same - leaving out, of course, the further details of external nature and finite mind which fall outside the range of religion. But religion is the truth for all men: faith rests on the witness of the spirit, which as witnessing is the spirit in man. This witness - the underlying essence in all humanity - takes, when driven to expound itself, its first definite form under those acquired habits of thought which his secular consciousness and intellect otherwise employs. In this way the truth becomes liable to the terms and conditions of finitude in general. This does not prevent the spirit, even in employing sensuous ideas and finite categories of thought, from retaining its content (which as religion is essentially speculative) with a tenacity which does violence to them, and acts inconsistently towards them. By this inconsistency it corrects their defects. Nothing easier therefore for the ‘Rationalist’ than to point out contradictions in the exposition of the faith, and then to prepare triumphs for its principle of formal identity. If the spirit yields to this finite reflection, which has usurped the title of reason and philosophy - (‘Rationalism’) - it strips religious truth of its infinity and makes it in reality nought. Religion in that case is completely in the right in guarding herself against such reason and philosophy and treating them as enemies. But it is another thing when religion sets herself against comprehending reason, and against philosophy in general, and specially against a philosophy of which the doctrine is speculative, and so religious. Such an opposition proceeds from failure to appreciate the difference indicated and the value of spiritual form in general, and particularly of the logical form; or, to be more precise still, from failure to note the distinction of the content - which may be in both the same - from these forms. It is on the ground of form that philosophy has been reproached and accused by the religious party; just as conversely its speculative content has brought the same changes upon it from a self-styled philosophy - and from a pithless orthodoxy. It had too little of God in it for the former; too much for the latter.

The charge of Atheism, which used often to be brought against philosophy (that it has too little of God), has grown rare: the more wide-spread grows the charge of Pantheism, that it has too much of him: - so much so, that it is treated not so much as an imputation, but as a proved fact, or a sheer fact which needs no proof. Piety, in particular, which with its pious airs of superiority fancies itself free to dispense with proof, goes hand in hand with empty rationalism - (which means to be so much opposed to it, though both repose really on the same habit of mind) - in the wanton assertion, almost as if it merely mentioned a notorious fact, that Philosophy is the All-one doctrine, or Pantheism. It must be said that it was more to the credit of piety and theology when they accused a philosophical system (e.g. Spinozism) of Atheism than of Pantheism, though the former imputation at the first glance looks more cruel and invidious (cf. § 71 note). The imputation of Atheism presupposes a definite idea of a full and real God, and arises because the popular idea does not detect in the philosophical notion the peculiar form to which it is attached. Philosophy indeed can recognize its own forms in the categories of religious consciousness, and even its own teaching in the doctrine of religion - which therefore it does not disparage. But the converse is not true: the religious consciousness does not apply the criticism of thought to itself, does not comprehend itself, and is therefore, as it stands, exclusive. To impute Pantheism instead of Atheism to Philosophy is part of the modern habit of mind - of the new piety and new theology. For them philosophy has too much of God: - so much so, that, if we believe them, it asserts that God is everything and everything is God. This new theology, which makes religion only a subjective feeling and denies the knowledge of the divine nature, thus retains nothing more than a God in general without objective characteristics. Without interest of its own for the concrete, fulfilled notion of God, it treats it only as an interest which others once had, and hence treats what belongs to the doctrine of God’s concrete nature as something merely historical. The indeterminate God is to be found in all religions; every kind of piety (§ 72) - that of the Hindu to asses, cows - or to dalai-lamas - that of the Egyptians to the ox - is always adoration of an object which, with all its absurdities, also contains the generic abstract, God in General. If this theory needs no more than such a God, so as to find God in everything called religion, it must at least find such a God recognized even in philosophy, and can no longer accuse it of Atheism. The mitigation of the reproach of Atheism into that of Pantheism has its ground therefore in the superficial idea to which this mildness has attenuated and emptied God. As that popular idea clings to its abstract universality, from which all definite quality is excluded, all such definiteness is only the non-divine, the secularity of things, thus left standing in fixed undisturbed substantiality. On such a presupposition, even after philosophy has maintained God’s absolute universality, and the consequent untruth of the being of external things, the hearer clings as he did before to his belief that secular things still keep their being, and form all that is definite in the divine universality. He thus changes that universality into what he calls the pantheistic: - Everything is - (empirical things, without distinction, whether higher or lower in the scale, are) - all possess substantiality; and so - thus he understands philosophy - each and every secular thing is God. It is only his own stupidity, and the falsifications due to such misconception, which generate than imagination and the allegation of such pantheism.

But if those who give out that a certain philosophy is Pantheism, are unable and unwilling to see this - for it is just to see the notion that they refuse - they should before everything have verified the alleged fact that any one philosopher, or any one man, had really ascribed substantial or objective and inherent reality to all things and regarded them as God: - that such an idea had ever come into the head of anybody but themselves. This allegation I will further elucidate in this exoteric discussion: and the only way to do so is to set down the evidence. If we want to take so-called Pantheism in its most poetical, most sublime, or if you will, its grossest shape, we must, as is well known, consult the oriental poets: and the most copious delineations of it are found in Hindu literature. Amongst the abundant resources, open to our disposal on this topic, I select - as the most authentic statement accessible - the Bhagavat-Gita, and amongst its effusions, prolix and reiterative ad nauseam, some of the most telling passages. In the 10th Lesson (in Schlegel, p. 162) Krishna says of himself:(1) - ‘I am the self, seated in the hearts of all beings. I am the beginning and the middle and the end also of all beings . . . I am the beaming sun amongst the shining ones, and the moon among the lunar mansions… Amongst the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda: I am mind amongst the senses: I am consciousness in living beings. And I am Sankara (Siva) among the Rudras, . . . Meru among the high-topped mountains. . . . the Himalaya among the firmly-fixed (mountains). . . . Among beasts I am the lord of beasts. . . . Among letters I am the letter A. . . . I am the spring among the seasons. . . . I am also that which is the seed of all things: there is nothing moveable or immoveable which can exist without me.’

Even in these totally sensuous delineations, Krishna (and we must not suppose there is, besides Krishna, still God, or a God besides; as he said before he was Siva, or Indra, so it is afterwards said that Brahma too is in him) makes himself out to be - not everything, but only - the most excellent of everything. Everywhere there is a distinction drawn between external, unessential existences, and one essential amongst them, which he is. Even when, at the beginning of the passage, he is said to be the beginning, middle, and end of living things, this totality is distinguished from the living things themselves as single existences. Even such a picture which extends deity far and wide in its existence cannot be called pantheism: we must rather say that in the infinitely multiple empirical world, everything is reduced to a limited number of essential existences, to a polytheism. But even what has been quoted shows that these very substantialities of the externally existent do not retain the independence entitling them to be named Gods; even Siva, Indra, etc. melt into the one Krishna.

This reduction is more expressly made in the following scene (7th Lesson, pp. 7 seqq.). Krishna says: ‘I am the producer and the destroyer of the whole universe. There is nothing else higher than myself; all this is woven upon me, like numbers of pearls upon a thread. I am the taste in water; . . . I am the light of the sun and the moon; I am “Om” in all the Vedas. . . . I am life in all beings. . . . I am the discernment of the discerning ones. . . . I am also the strength of the strong.’ Then he adds: ‘The whole universe deluded by these three states of mind developed from the qualities [sc. goodness, passion,darkness] does not know me who am beyond them and inexhaustible: for this delusion of mine (even the Maya is his, nothing independent], developed from the qualities is divine and difficult to transcend. Those cross beyond this delusion who resort to me alone.’ Then the picture gathers itself up in a simple expression. ‘At the end of many lives, the man possessed of knowledge approaches me, (believing) that Vasudeva is everything. Such a high-souled mind is very hard to find. Those who are deprived of knowledge by various desires approach other divinities . . . Whichever form of deity one worships with faith, from it he obtains the beneficial things he desires really given by me. But the fruit thus obtained by those of little judgement is perishable. . . . The undiscerning ones, not knowing my transcendent and inexhaustible essence, than which there is nothing higher, think me who am unperceived to have become perceptible.’

This ‘All’, which Krishna calls himself, is not, any more than the Eleatic One, and the Spinozan Substance, the Everything. This everything, rather, the infinitely manifold sensuous manifold of the finite is in all these pictures, but defined as the ‘accidental’, without essential being of its very own, but having its truth in the substance, the One which, as different from that accidental, is alone the divine and God. Hinduism, however, has the higher conception of Brahma, the pure unity of thought in itself, where the empirical everything of the world, as also those proximate substantialities, called Gods, vanish. On that account Colebrooke and many others have described the Hindu religion as at bottom a Monotheism. That this description is not incorrect is clear from these short citations. But so little concrete is this divine unity - spiritual as its idea of God is - so powerless its, grip, so to speak - that Hinduism, with a monstrous inconsistency, is also the maddest of polytheisms. But the idolatry of the wretched Hindu, when he adores the ape, or other creature, is still a long way from that wretched fancy of a Pantheism, to which everything is God, and God everything. Hindu monotheism, moreover, is itself an example how little comes of mere monotheism, if the Idea of God is not deeply determinate in itself. For that unity, if it be intrinsically abstract and therefore empty, tends of itself to let whatever is concrete, outside it - be it as a lot of Gods or as secular, empirical individuals - keep its independence. That pantheism indeed - on the shallow conception of it - might with a show of logic as well be called a monotheism: for if God, as it says, is identical with the world, then as there is only one world there would be in that pantheism only one God. Perhaps the empty numerical unity must be predicated of the world: but such abstract predication of it has no further special interest; on the contrary, a mere numerical unity just means that its content is an infinite multeity and variety of finitudes. But it is that delusion with the empty unity, which alone makes possible and induces the wrong idea of pantheism. It is only the picture - floating in the indefinite blue - of the world as one thing, the all, that could ever be considered capable of combining with God: only on that assumption could philosophy be supposed to teach that God is the World: for if the world were taken as it is, as everything, as the endless lot of empirical existence, then it would hardly have been even held possible to suppose a pantheism which asserted of such stuff that it is God.

But to go back again to the question of fact. If we want to see the consciousness of the One - not as with the Hindus split between the featureless unity of abstract thought, on one hand, and on the other, the long-winded weary story of its particular detail, but - in its finest purity and sublimity, we must consult the Mohammedans. If, e.g., in the excellent Jelaleddin-Rumi in particular, we find the unity of the soul with the One set forth, and that unity described as love, this spiritual unity is an exaltation above the finite and vulgar, a transfiguration of the natural and the spiritual, in which the externalism and transitoriness of immediate nature, and of empirical secular spirit, is discarded and absorbed.(2)

I refrain from accumulating further examples of the religious and poetic conceptions which it is customary to call pantheistic. Of the philosophies to which that name is given, the Eleatic, or Spinozist, it has been remarked earlier (§ 50, note) that so far are they from identifying God with the world and making him finite, that in these systems this ‘everything’ has no truth, and that we should rather call them monotheistic, or, in relation to the popular idea of the world, acosmical. They are most accurately called systems which apprehend the Absolute only as substance. Of the oriental, especially the Mohammedan, modes of envisaging God, we may rather say that they represent the Absolute as the utterly universal genus which dwells in the species or existences, but dwells so potently that these existences have no actual reality. The fault of all these modes of thought and systems is that they stop short of defining substance as subject and as mind.

These systems and modes of pictorial conception originate from the one need common to all philosophies and all religions of getting an idea of God, and, secondly, of the relationship of God and the world. (In philosophy it is specially made out that the determination of God’s nature determines his relations with the world.) The ‘reflective’ understanding begins by rejecting all systems and modes of conception, which, whether they spring from heart, imagination or speculation, express the interconnection of God and the world: and in order to have God pure in faith or consciousness, he is as essence parted from appearance, as infinite from the finite. But, after this partition, the conviction arises also that the appearance has a relation to the essence, the finite to the infinite, and so on.- and thus arises the question of reflection as to the nature of this relation. It is in the reflective form that the whole difficulty of the affair lies, and that causes this relation to be called incomprehensible by the agnostic. The close of philosophy is not the place, even in a general exoteric discussion, to waste a word on what a ‘notion’ means. But as the view taken of this relation is closely connected with the view taken of philosophy generally and with all amputations against it, we may still add the remark that though philosophy certainly has to do with unity in general, it is not, however, with abstract unity, mere identity, and the empty absolute, but with concrete unity (the notion), and that in its whole course it has to do with nothing else; - that each step in its advance is a peculiar term or phase of this concrete unity, and that the deepest and last expression of unity is the unity of absolute mind itself. Would-be judges and critics of philosophy might be recommended to familiarize themselves with these phases of unity and to take the trouble to get acquainted with them, at least to know so much that of these terms there are a great many, and that amongst them there is great variety. But they show so little acquaintance with them - and still less take trouble about it - that, when they hear of unity - and relation ipso facto implies unity - they rather stick fast at quite abstract indeterminate unity, and lose sight of the chief point of interest - the special mode in which the unity is qualified. Hence all they can say about philosophy is that dry identity is its principle and result, and that it is the system of identity. Sticking fast to the undigested thought of identity, they have laid hands on, not the concrete unity, the notion and content of philosophy, but rather its reverse. In the philosophical field they proceed, as in the physical field the physicist; who also is well aware that he has before him a variety of sensuous properties and matters - or usually matters alone (for the properties get transformed into matters also for the physicist) - and that these matters (elements) also stand in relation to one another. But the question is, Of what kind is this relation? Every peculiarity and the whole difference of natural things, inorganic and living, depend solely on the different modes of this unity. But instead of ascertaining these different modes, the ordinary physicist (chemist included) takes up only one, the most external and the worst, viz. composition, applies only it in the whole range of natural structures, which he thus renders for ever inexplicable.

The aforesaid shallow pantheism is an equally obvious inference from this shallow identity. All that those who employ this invention of their own to accuse philosophy gather from the study of God’s relation to the world is that the one, but only the one factor of this category of relation - and that the factor of indeterminateness - is identity. Thereupon they stick fast in this half-perception, and assert - falsely as a fact - that philosophy teaches the identity of God and the world. And as in their judgement either of the two - the world as much as God - has the same solid substantiality as the other, they infer that in the philosophic Idea God is composed of God and the world. Such then is the idea they form of pantheism, and which they ascribe to philosophy. Unaccustomed in their own thinking and apprehending of thoughts to go beyond such categories, they import them into philosophy, where they are utterly unknown; they thus infect it with the disease against which they subsequently raise an outcry. If any difficulty emerge in comprehending God’s relation to the world, they at once and very easily escape it by admitting that this relation contains for them an inexplicable contradiction; and that hence, they must stop at the vague conception of such relation, perhaps under the more familiar names of e.g. omnipresence, providence, etc. Faith in their use of the term means no more than a refusal to define the conception, or to enter on a closer discussion of the problem. That men and classes of untrained intellect are satisfied with such indefiniteness, is what one expects; but when a trained intellect and an interest for reflective study is satisfied, in matters admitted to be of superior, if not even of supreme interest, with indefinite ideas, it is hard to decide whether the thinker is really in earnest with the subject. But if those who cling to this crude ‘rationalism’ were in earnest, e.g. with God’s omnipresence, so far as to realize their faith thereon in a definite mental idea, in what difficulties would they be involved by their belief in the true reality of the things of sense! They would hardly like, as Epicurus does, to let God dwell in the interspaces of things, i.e. in the pores of the physicists - said pores being the negative, something supposed to exist beside the material reality. This very ‘Beside’ would give their pantheism its spatiality - their everything, conceived as the mutual exclusion of parts in space. But in ascribing to God, in his relation to the world, an action on and in the space thus filled on the world and in it, they would endlessly split up the divine actuality into infinite materiality. They would really thus have the misconception they call pantheism or all-one-doctrine, only as the necessary sequel of their misconceptions of God and the world. But to put that sort of thing, this stale gossip of oneness or identity, on the shoulders of philosophy, shows such recklessness about justice and truth that it can only be explained through the difficulty of getting into the head thoughts and notions, i.e. not abstract unity, but the many-shaped modes specified. If statements as to facts are put forward, and the facts in question are thoughts and notions, it is indispensable to get hold of their meaning. But even the fulfilment of this requirement has been rendered superfluous, now that it has long been a foregone conclusion that philosophy is pantheism, a system of identity, an All-one doctrine, and that the person therefore who might be unaware of this fact is treated either as merely unaware of a matter of common notoriety, or as prevaricating for a purpose. On account of this chorus of assertions, then, I have believed myself obliged to speak at more length and exoterically on the outward and inward untruth of this alleged fact: for exoteric discussion is the only method available in dealing with the external apprehension of notions as mere facts - by which notions are perverted into their opposite. The esoteric study of God and identity, as of cognitions, and notions, is philosophy itself.


This notion of philosophy is the self-thinking Idea, the truth aware of itself (§ 236) - the logical system, but with the signification that it is universality approved and certified in concrete content as in its actuality. In this way the science has gone back to its beginning: its result is the logical system but as a spiritual principle: out of the presupposing judgement, in which the notion was only implicit and the beginning an immediate - and thus out of the appearance which it had there - it has risen into its pure principle and thus also into its proper medium.


It is this appearing which originally gives the motive of the further development. The first appearance is formed by the syllogism, which is based on the Logical system as starting-point, with Nature for the middle term which couples the Mind with it. The Logical principle turns to Nature and Nature to Mind. Nature, standing between the Mind and its essence, sunders itself, not indeed to extremes of finite abstraction, nor itself to something away from them and independent - which, as other than they, only serves as a link between them: for the syllogism is in the Idea and Nature is essentially defined as a transition-point and negative factor, and as implicitly the Idea. Still the mediation of the notion has the external form of transition, and the science of Nature presents itself as the course of necessity, so that it is only in the one extreme that the liberty of the notion is explicit as a self-amalgamation.


In the second syllogism this appearance is so far superseded, that that syllogism is the standpoint of the Mind itself, which - as the mediating agent in the process - presupposes Nature and couples it with the Logical principle. It is the syllogism where Mind reflects on itself in the Idea: philosophy appears as a subjective cognition, of which liberty is the aim, and which is itself the way to produce it.


The third syllogism is the Idea of philosophy, which has self- knowing reason, the absolutely universal, for its middle term: a middle, which divides itself into Mind and Nature, making the former its presupposition, as process of the Idea’s subjective activity, and the latter its universal extreme, as process of the objectively and implicitly existing Idea. The self-judging of the Idea into its two appearances (§§ 575, 576) characterizes both as its (the self-knowing reason’s) manifestations: and in it there is a unification of the two aspects: - it is the nature of the fact, the notion, which causes the movement and development, yet this same movement is equally the action of cognition. The eternal Idea, in full fruition of its essence, eternally sets itself to work, engenders and enjoys itself as absolute Mind.